South West zoos end year cautiously optimistic
A South West wildlife trust has announced positive visitor numbers for its three charity zoos – but is sounding a note of caution over the future.
The Whitley Wildlife Conservation Trust runs Paignton Zoo, Living Coasts in Torquay and Newquay Zoo in Cornwall.
For the 12 months to the end of October 2013, Paignton Zoo welcomed 462,000 visitors, 11,000 up on the previous year. Living Coasts saw numbers increase by 11%, from 111,000 to 124,000. Newquay Zoo received 156,500 visitors, just 1% down on the previous year.
The charity’s trading arm has also had a good year – managers put this down in large part to its strong ethical policies and products.
Trust spokesperson Phil Knowling said: “August was very good for visitors – certainly for Paignton Zoo it made all the difference. More importantly, spend is up across the board. We are not out of the woods yet – it is all about what happens to the wider economy. Careful cost control will continue to be crucial for this organisation in the future.”
(from a press release)
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