Burnham-On-Sea’s tourist information centre has seen visitor numbers “significantly reduced” due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
The team who run the seafront facilities at Burnham Information and Rescue Support (BiARS) say it has been a quiet year to date.
Manager Ian Jefferies told Burnham-On-Sea.com: “It is no surprise to us with the lockdown and continuing fears that we have had a very quiet year. We are currently averaging 30-50 visitors a day compared to around 200-300 during the normal period.”
“It is strange that the seafront car parks still appear to be full most of the time but the footfall around our centre has decreased immensely. We are hoping that the season will be longer this year as people decide to take later visits now the schools have gone back.”
Since the seafront facilities re-opened in August, visitors have only been allowed into the foyer where a volunteer speaks to them about what information they require and then gets relevant leaflets. The meaures are in place to protect customers and volunteers.
Ian adds: “Our two main sources of income have been dramatically impacted this year due to sales falling. We do not have the casual browsers within the shop that generate impulse purchases.”
“We also have had to take a bit of a hit on advertising income this year due to many supporters struggling themselves. I’d like to think we have helped many of them in their quest to start regaining some of their lost earnings this year and wish them all well for the future.”
“We do have an amazing volunteer who does car boot sales on our behalf and we are always looking for items to sell. If anyone wishes to support us in keeping our doors open and has items we can sell at car boots, please contact Margaret on 01278 788122 to arrange delivery or collection.”
“BiARS is – and will continue to – assist the Burnham and Highbridge Coronavirus Support Group in taking calls from those that need shopping, prescriptions etc due to still shielding or isolating. The number for the support group is 01278 393231. Please leave a message and messages taken before midday will be dealt with on the same day, while messages after midday may not be dealt with until the following day.”
He adds: “Thank you to everyone who has and continues to support BiARS and let’s hope we can prosper and reach our 10th anniversary in April next year.”
The centre is currently open 7 days a week, 10am-12pm and 1pm-3pm.