An antiques shop owner in Dorset is refusing access to tourists who he says do not buy anything and put off genuine customers. Mark Galpin, whose shop is opposite a coach stop in Christchurch, says visitors "just pile in" to kill time. He said profits had increased since he introduced the ban.
The town's chamber of commerce said the ban was "depressing" as it created an
image of the town being unwelcoming to tourists. Mr Galpin has put "clear and polite" signs outside the shop banning anyone
living further than a 30-mile radius of the store. The shop, Aladdin's Cave, sells large items of furniture which Mr Galpin
claims tourists are unable to take on their coaches.
Mayor of Christchurch Peter Hall said he was "very surprised" at the
move. "Tourists help keep Christchurch vibrant, it's important to get it right.
To turn away this important source of revenue really doesn't make sense to
me." Peter Watson-Lee, chairman of Christchurch Chamber of Commerce, insisted the
majority of shops were welcoming to tourists.
"We are working hard in selling Christchurch as a lovely place to come to and
to attract more tourists. We have got one eccentric and it's just so depressing. I just hope people aren't put off coming to Christchurch because of
this. It's really very upsetting to people, it's quite unpleasant," he said.