An Ill Wind- Is it all bad news for Cornwall or is there no such thing as bad publicity?
Well it’s been quite a month for all of us but as we manage 38 properties in Porthleven we have had an extra special time. I bought reflective jackets and powerful torches and had a fantasy about leading guests to safety in a heroic fashion but fortunately I wasn’t needed. In the end we only had one bit of serious damage to a roof right on the seafront and lost a few fences and aerials but I think we can count ourselves very lucky, certainly luckier than many people.
Porthleven seemed to be on the TV almost every night and we had outside broadcast teams from a number of organisations in the town so is this good or bad publicity? The answer of course is a bit of both. There’s no doubt that Cornwall in general and Porthleven in particular has been brought to everybody’s attention. Bookings have continued at normal levels and we even had a few people book specially to come and see the storms.
Retailers, cafes and restaurants in the town have had a few bumper days, especially on one Saturday when the town was so packed with storm watchers that it was hard to get in. On the website we have seen storm surges in visitors looking like waves with peaks on Sundays, presumably as a result of all those dramatic pictures in the Sunday papers.
On the negative side news reports have been showing waves breaking at Porthleven followed by the destruction of the railway line and flooding on the Somerset levels and some people have got the impression that Cornwall has been devastated. I’ve had people with holidays booked at Easter ringing to see if their cottage has been destroyed and messages of sympathy from regulars who’ve seen our ‘plight’ on the television.
Visit Cornwall have done a pretty good job with their ‘Cornwall is open for business’ campaign and people have short memories so as other news stories take over and the weather improves we will just be left with a greater awareness of the region. As I’m writing the sun is shining and it’s practically T-shirt weather so hopefully the worst is behind us and we will go on to have the record breaking year being promised by early booking levels.