Footfall figures in Cardiff’s city centre bounce back in August 2021 - bucking the Welsh and UK trend



The number of people visiting Cardiff City Centre in August this year is only 5% less than it was in August 2019, the year before the pandemic struck.


The figures show that Cardiff is bucking the Wales-wide trend and that of other UK cities, which on average are seeing a drop of 17.7% and 23% in footfall respectively. The figures give a clear indication that the city centre is recovering from the pandemic, quicker than expected.


Cllr Russell Goodway, Cabinet Member for Investment and Development at Cardiff Council said: "During August 2021, the footfall figures in the city centre were 36.8% higher than the previous year and in certain periods, the figures were higher than the footfall in 2019, before the pandemic began.


"There is no doubt that the pandemic has had a massive impact on trade, but what we need to focus on now, is how the city centre recovers. The city centre is busy and I am pleased to see both the retail and hospitality sector bouncing back so quickly, after two very difficult years. There is a vibrant atmosphere in bars, pubs and restaurants across the city and it shows how the sector has been able to adapt to make best use of the outdoor space that has been made available.


"With the return of major events to the city centre in the autumn, leading up to the Christmas season, we expect to see visitor numbers increase significantly in the coming months. This in turn will significantly increase the amount of money being spent in shops, hotels, bars, pubs and restaurants, giving a further boost to the local economy.


"The council has also recently surveyed some of the largest businesses in the office sector on their return to work strategy. Indications show that the majority of businesses will continue with their plans for staff to work partly at home and partly in the office, with the majority of workers returning to the office two or three times a week from early September. This will also make a significant contribution to the recovery of the city centre."


Footfall in the city centre is measured using seven cameras that are located in key locations, including, Greyfriars Road, High Street, High Street Arcade, Queen Street, Hayes and St Mary Street.


The cameras measure footfall - the number people walking around the city centre - rather than counting individual people, but the figures are a good indication to measure whether there is either growth or a decline in the use of the city centre.