Port of Dover hosts more than 1.7 million passengers this summer

UK port makes major progress towards recapturing its pre-pandemic tourist business
Port of Dover hosts more than 1.7 million passengers this summer

UnSplash/Randy Bailey

The Port of Dover is the UK's busiest international ferry port

By Rebecca Gibson |

The UK’s Port of Dover welcomed more than 1.7 million passengers between mid-July and the start of September 2022, which equates to over half of the total number of people it hosted throughout 2021.

According to the port, these figures indicate that it is making “major progress” towards recapturing its pre-pandemic tourist business. Before the pandemic, Dover typically handled two million cars and 11 million passengers per year, making it the busiest international ferry port in the UK.

“Dover has always been a key holiday gateway for British families, and we are very pleased with the strength of the recovery we have seen in tourist traffic,” said Doug Bannister, CEO of the Port of Dover. “Whilst post-pandemic numbers were expected to show a significant increase on last year, these latest figures are very encouraging, and it has been a pleasure to see so many leisure travellers choosing the Straits of Dover once again.”

Before the start of the summer season, Dover increased interim French border controls by 50 per cent to expedite the movement of traffic through the port and repositioned internal traffic routes to improve vehicle flow. In addition, it enhanced amenities such as toilets and refreshment services, and expanded its team of ‘passenger champions’ to improve the passenger experience.

“Following the introduction of more time-consuming post-Brexit border checks, and in readiness for the summer season, we brought in a series of interim measures designed to manage increased traffic flow around the port during this first major post-pandemic summer getaway,” said Bannister. “Broadly, they have worked very well. The challenges we saw in Dover on the first weekend of the summer season were swiftly resolved and have not recurred.

“I would like to thank all our staff, our ferry operators and partners, P&O Ferries, DFDS and Irish Ferries and, of course the travelling public for making this summer season such an overall success.”


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