It’s work. You have to unearth the good stories, those anecdotes that will ring in the ears of the players, and then draw a coherent circuit. The town took the opportunity to repair some footbridges and groom its paths. Along the route, she highlights her night carp fishing route, the European mink protection zone, the unmissable chain box, but also more unknown aspects. “Dompierre was a port of flint. The barges stopped and loaded up with flint,” says Gaby Touzinaud.
« More and more strict »
Terra Aventura is a benchmark for « geocaching », a device that invites you to solve puzzles by geolocating yourself via your mobile phone. The brand has 450 courses in New Aquitaine. “The level is getting stricter and stricter. They create about forty circuits per year on the scale of the Region. There are disappointed people, ”notes Laetitia Adebiaye, director of the Saintes Agglo tourist office.
The structure helps municipalities get back on track. The territory has six circuits. Since 1er January, that of Saintes registered 7,348 players; Les Gonds, 7,172; Saint-Sauvant, 6,540; La Chapelle-des-Pots, 6196; Burie, 4,428. Dompierre-sur-Charente benefited from the novelty effect to do as well in two months. In total, this makes more than 43,000 players, a clear progression.
The boats have warmed up
What to remember from the tourist season? The Agglomeration will present the final figures in a month, in order to include September, which is important. We already retain a word: “rather satisfactory”. The tourist office saw 11,443 people pass through in July and 15,410 in August, down slightly from 2021. The proportion of foreigners has returned to its pre-Covid low water level, 20%. English, Belgians, but also many Spaniards. With 1,005 visitors, it’s good, but could do better for the information point on the Saint-Louis site. “We see that it is a gateway to the city. We have to work on it. »
The season was marked by two phenomena. We paid attention to his wallet and the weather. The shadow of the heat wave hangs over the figures. Minus 6% of turnover for the gabarre, but that’s because there were 31 fewer departures. Less 18% for electric boats, because the heat generated breakdowns. Without that, the activity would have been full! There were also fewer cyclists to face the Flow bike. “We had 1,435 bikes that went through the chain box last year, compared to 1,190 this year,” notes Gaby Touzinaud.
The temperatures also explain the decline in receipts for walks in the heart of Saintes (-46%), especially since the 2020 and 2021 vintages had reached records, when the French found a taste for local tourism. The Agglomeration is delighted with the growing success of its « company visits » (95 entries, compared to 42 in 2021). The formula could find variations throughout the year. The office also points to the increase (+8.5%) in ticketing for third parties, the Coconut or Transe Atlantique festivals, for example. “The associations identify us better,” retains the director. The website, reviewed in 2021, saw its attendance increase by 20%, with 50,941 sessions for 140,963 page views.