Falmouth’s fifth Tall Ships Regatta has been branded a phenomenal success, attracting 230,000 people to the port across the four days and injecting over £15 million into the local economy.
More than 70,000 people visited the regatta site within Falmouth Docks during the first three days and over 100,000 people took to the water or the seafront and cliff-tops to watch Sunday’s Parade of Sail.
With the ships now on their way to Royal Greenwich, businesses in Falmouth are counting their profits after experiencing what was arguably the town’s busiest four days ever.
The Tall Ships event manager, Sam Groom said: “Our initial estimates for spend per head already sit at a total of £8.5 million but this is only for day visitors and does not include the accommodation and hospitality spend of all of the thousands of people staying in and around Falmouth and across Cornwall.
“Many hotels, bed and breakfasts and self-catering options were booked-up more than a year in advance for this event and from June onwards it was almost impossible to find a bed in Falmouth, so the major input into our economy is obvious.”
“The initial total does not include the money generated by those involved with staging and running the event. The Tall Ships Regatta also attracted extra police and emergency services personnel, teams from all sponsors, partners and supporters, over 80 members of the media, various traders and organisations with stands on site, all of the Sail Training International team and support crew as well as many volunteers who made their way to Falmouth.
“All these hundreds of extra people needed somewhere to stay and they all took advantage of what the town has to offer. Event organisers are awaiting feedback from key accommodation providers and will release further figures about this significant economic boost shortly. However, at this stage, that amount is likely to exceed £15 million.
Falmouth town manager, Richard Gates is delighted with how the event went. “I am extremely pleased with the phenomenal success of the Tall Ships Regatta,” he said. “The town team office has received many positive comments from businesses as well as the local community.
“I must say a huge thank you to everyone involved in making the scale of this event so memorable and especially Sam Groom, event manager and John Hick, chairman.
The large numbers of volunteers and support from the town council, Falmouth BID, emergency services and many other organisations with Visit Cornwall heading up the event, really shows how well everyone worked together.”
Falmouth BID manager, Richard Wilcox echoed his sentiment, saying: “We're delighted at the huge success of Falmouth Tall Ships Regatta. The event showed off the very best of Falmouth - its sense of community, vibrancy, fun and colour.
“The community effort was epitomised by hundreds of volunteers giving up their time to support the festival by offering to man road closures, sell programmes, assist with the setting up and taking down of venues, the clean-up operation and more.
“The PR campaign has led to some great national coverage with more to follow and evaluation work is ongoing to assess the social and economic impact of this event for Falmouth and Cornwall. Greenwich will certainly have a tough act to follow.”
With the regatta now a memory, organisers have been expressing their gratitude to all those who helped make it a success, and are appealing for all those who attended to give feedback via the official survey.
Sam Groom said: “The event would not be possible without the tremendous support from all our official partners, event sponsors and supporters. Each of these organisations have provided us with so much more than we could have hoped and we trust they’ll agree that it has all been worthwhile.
“I would also like to express the event team’s gratitude to the emergency services who have supported the planning from the outset and without their input the event would not have been possible.
“On the whole, we are hearing nothing but praise however there are some constructive suggestions that we are immediately taking on board as we always aim to improve what we do on events of this magnitude. We are encouraging detailed feedback via the official survey and also informal routes.”
The final words go to John Hick who said: “We are constantly hearing about amazing examples of kindness, generosity and Cornish spirit as well as great figures of brilliant business that have boosted this town and this county as a result of the event.
“It’s been an incredible amount of work for every single person who has been involved and we just cannot say thank you enough.”