Dorset shop owner bans tourists 'because they never buy anything'

Dorset shop owner bans tourists 'because they never buy anything'

An antiques store owner in Christchurch, Dorset, has banned tourists from his shop - because, he says, they never buy anything.

Mark Galpin has hung a sign outside his Aladdin's Cave store that clearly states "No Tourists", and claims his profits have gone up 30% since doing so.

The sign also states that only people who live within a 30-mile radius of the store are welcome to shop there.

The move came after Mr Galpin got fed up of tourists browsing round his shop while waiting for their coach - and buying nothing in the process.

According to the Daily Mail, he said: "We have made a decision that this business should be a local business for local people.

"We have a coach drop-off and pick-up point immediately opposite us and we can have 500 to 600 coach passengers a day coming in and buying absolutely nothing.

"We have put up with it for three years and we believe that maybe one in every 2,500 tourists has spent a pound or two. The rest have spent nothing."

Mr Galpin added that they have tried to cater for tourists by selling cheap trinkets and ornaments, which never shifted.

He said that "40 to 50" local residents have told him they are put off by the previously high volume of tourists in the shop, and also explained he pays extremely high rent to be on the high street.

"We think that giving tourists an option of coming in if they pay a pound to an extremely worthwhile charity is the right thing to do," he added.

Other residents in Christchurch clearly do not agree. Cllr Nicholas Geary said: "We're working very hard to encourage people to come into our town and spend money and this attitude does us no good at all."

"Tourists bring a lot of money into the town. He is in the wrong town if he doesn't want to welcome them."

One shopper, Anthony Nichols, who was asked to leave the shop after admitting he was not a local resident, said he was left "speechless" by Mr Galpin's attitude.

Mr Nichols told This Is Dorset: "He said that before I could come in, I had to read this sign which said that tourists were banned. At first I thought he was joking.

"We were actually looking for a piece of furniture on behalf of a Christchurch-based relative but I didn't see why I should explain that to him.

"We had had a lovely time in Christchurch but that's not what I will be taking away with me. This has ruined that. I cannot understand how he is allowed to act like this."

Peter Watson-Lee, chairman of the Christchurch Chamber of Trade, said he had received a host of complaints about Mr Galpin's actions, and told This Is Dorset: "Tourists bring a lot of money into the town. He is in the wrong town if he doesn't want to welcome them."

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Dorset shop owner bans tourists 'because they never buy anything'

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Did you know? Oscar-winning actress Tilda Swinton lives in Nairn.

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