Cornwall tourists hit by huge price hike as popular areas introduce ‘unavoidable’ charges

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Cornwall is one of the UK’s most popular staycation spots and many Britons choose to spend the summer there. But new charges could put some people off.

Pleasure boat users in the seaside town of Falmouth will face a huge price hike from now on.

Yachts, motorboats, fishing boats and other pleasure craft will need to pay 30 percent more for moorings in Falmouth harbour.

The Falmouth Harbour Authority said the increase was necessary following rising costs after the pandemic.

Miles Carden, CEO of Falmouth Harbour, said the increase was needed to address market conditions.

He told CornwallLive the rising price would “rebalance historically low charges while keeping them competitive, fair and in many cases less than market levels”.

Carden added: “No one likes price rise but we have had to accept that we cannot maintain, keep safe and grow this spectacular and vibrant sailing and commercial harbour if we continue to undercharge for services we have a statutory duty to provide.

“We are faced with considerable challenges of increasing costs that are unavoidable and cannot be delayed any further as the future of the Harbour depends on it.

“Falmouth Harbour is a Trust Port and its primary duty is to sustainably and safely manage the harbour, which benefits the local economy, the environment and our local stakeholder communities and customers.”

The new charges will come into place in 2022 and will rise in line with inflation after that.

Elsewhere kayakers and paddleboarders using the River Fowey will now need to pay a fee to do so.

Officials at the beautiful river site have said they need to impose the £20 fee per craft as a way to improve safety.

Paul Thomas, the harbourmaster, denied it was a tourist tax and said it was a way to keep people safe.

He said: “It’s not a tax on tourists. There is a small minority of people who rail against it but the idea is not new and we are behind other harbour authorities on it.

“We are a non-profit making organisation and all water users have to pay a fee to the harbour authority.

“We have a duty of care to all water users. We have watched the dreadful incidents in Rock involving a paddleboarder last year so we decided to find a way to improve safety and make sure that people who use the harbour and the river have a way to access all the safety advice and information they need and stay safe.”

Mr Thomas said the fee would pay for a dedicated safety officer on the River and a registration scheme for lost items.

He said: “With the sheer number of these craft on the water, it seems that unless we take some steps to educate and control things it is only a matter of time before an incident does occur.

“The Harbour Commissioners feel it is time to take early action to engage with these harbour users and reach out to them to provide some safety advice and local knowledge.”

In 2020, popular school teacher, Simon Flynn, was killed near Rock when his paddleboarding ankle leash got caught in a boat mooring.

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