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Thanet's Visitors

The Isle of Thanet has been welcoming visitors for over 200 years, with many coming for the day, travelling directly from home or a holiday based elsewhere. Most visit in the summer, with a growth in out of season visits. 

Couples and families accounted for almost two thirds (63%) of all visiting groups to Thanet (36% and 27% respectively) with Ramsgate attracting the highest proportion of couples (40%),  Broadstairs families (39%) and Margate popular with groups of friends (19%) and visitors travelling alone (12%).

Visitors to the area also include those for business, visiting friends and relatives (VFR) and overseas study 

Day visitors are important for Thanet businesses but to extend the impact on the local economy, Thanet needs to attract more staying visitors– those who will spend money on accommodation and in restaurants and shops and support the development of more quality and character retail and accommodation. 

To get businesses on a firm footing, able to invest and offer quality, year-round jobs – visitors are needed throughout the year, not only in the summer months and school holidays. This means Thanet needs to attract more people who are free to visit outside peak times. This does not mean that others will not come; it is a question of where to focus resources to make a difference.


  • 4.6 million p.a.
  • 73% are day visitors
  • Couples and families accounted for almost two thirds (63%) of all visiting groups to Thanet
  • Most are from the UK – less than 10% come from overseas
  • By far the strongest reason to visit is the seaside/ beaches
  • Most travel to the area by car
  • Most visit in the summer months 

From: Thanet's Cambridge Report 2019 and Visitor Survey 2018

There are opportunities for Thanet to reach out to new markets:

  • Fun in the sun - Typically parents looking for family oriented summer holidays where beaches play a starring role. Tend to seek cheaper, more ‘social’ alternatives to hotel accommodation, such as caravans or holiday camps
  • Free and Easy Mini-Breakers - more likely than other segments to be ‘young, free and single’. Demographically close to ‘the average Joe’, btu they really stand out in their holiday behaviour
  • Fuss-free value seekers - empty nesters on a budget, they seek good value beach holidays with convenient transport links. Tend to be less digitally active than other segments - less likely to engage in social media or book holiday online
  • Aspirational Family Fun - typically information-hungry, London based high earners with children at home, they regularly take city breaks where they can indulge in active, family-friendly pursuits, such as sporting events and cultural visits

For more information on the visitors to Thanet, read the results of the 2018 Visitor Survey