A surfshop owner says he’s ‘overwhelmed’ with the influx of staycation guests in Cornwall, and that he’s seen more theft in recent weeks than he has in four years.
Tristan Edge, from Cornwall, who owns The Boardroom Surfshop in Newquay, appeared on This Morning today where he spoke of the ‘extremely demanding’ few weeks he’s had because of an increase in holidaymakers in the local area.
He revealed that after never experiencing shoplifters in his store, he’s had a £700 paddle boards and £200 wetsuit stolen, and believes the tourists are ‘frustrated’ because they aren’t able to holiday abroad.
‘We have to work twice as hard in the summer,’ said Tristan. ‘That’s why we’re here. The summer vibe is a good vibe, but this year has been extremely demanding and testing for sure.’
He added: ‘Please just be respectful to where you are, the environment and who lives here and just be nice.
‘I’ve owned the shop four years now and we never had any equipment stolen. We had a £700 paddle board and a £200 wetsuit stolen a few weeks ago, the crime rate has gone up a little bit.’
This comes after Cornish resorts were branded ‘Benidorm on steroids’ because floods of visitors left residents too scared to leave their homes to go food shopping.
Street marshals have been patrolling hotspots after tourists poured down narrow streets and flouted social-distancing rules – despite clear warning signs in place.
Locals blasted the guests for their flagrant breaking of the restrictions, with one terrified woman saying she has banned her children from the main street and harbour.
While Tristan was said business was going ‘really well’, he admitted their shop was ‘manic’ and told he would normally only have an influx of that many guests when 60,000 to 70,00 people descend on the town for the annual week-long Boardmasters music festival.
‘Business is going really well, said Tristan, ‘We’re extremely busy, it is manic. It’s extremely busy.
‘It’s good for business, it’s good for the global economy but in the same respect, it’s quite intimidating considering it’s a small town.
‘The volume of people, it’s like Boardmasters every week. We have one really busy week where we have an influx of 60,000 or 70,00 people for a music festival. It’s overwhelming to be honest.’
He went on to describe the general attitude in the area as ‘frustrated’ and believes that tourists who would normally go abroad are settling for staycations to Cornwall.
‘I think there are people who want to come away to get away and forget what’s going on, and then you have those who want to come to Cornwall, said Tristan.
‘And then there’s those who don’t want to and want to be abroad and are frustrated they can’t get over there and do their normal things.
‘And because it’s so warm and people are on top of each other, that creates frustration across the board.’
Tristan was joined by Lucy Metcalf, who runs a camping park in the Lake District, and was thrilled with the recent influx of guests, insisting that the majority have had no problem maintaining social distancing measures.
‘It’s amazing,’ said Lucy. ‘We are fully booked until the 31st of August across all our accommodation, which we’ve never had before.
‘It’s been a really good start to summer after a very difficult few months of being closed.’
Speaking of maintaining safety measures, she went on: ‘It’s hard, we’re not a prison camp. We don’t want to keep reminding people.
‘We’re lucky we took the decision to only have half the people we normally have, so social distancing isn’t a problem.
‘There’s loads of space and people the majority of the time are really on board with this and are happy they’re able to get out. ‘