Staycationers should be more adventurous and avoid jostling on over-crowded beaches during the heatwave, tourism chiefs have urged.
Popular resorts attract tens of thousands of visitors a day during the summer — even when the temperature is not touching 30C (86F) — with tourists missing out on many beautiful stretches of coast, according to VisitEngland.
Hidden sandy coves in Dorset and Northumberland and wildlife havens at beaches in Devon are often virtually empty during peak summer months, yet motorists on roads into traditional seaside resorts face gridlock and jam-packed car parks when they finally do get where they were going...Why fight on the beaches, asks England tourism chief | The Times
And in the Western Morning News from today:
More than a million holidaymakers and daytrippers are expected to hit the roads for the Westcountry this weekend with the tourist industry reporting a huge spike in visitors from both home and abroad. Bookings for so-called stay-cations are up by 20% in parts of the region as holidaymakers buoyed by the recent good weather are turning their backs on overseas visits in favour of a holiday in the Westcountry.
Forecasters are predicting the heatwave will continue into next week, with temperatures in the region reaching highs of 28C for the start of the school summer holidays, making it the longest prolonged period of such weather since 2006. However, those looking to take advantage of the recent sweltering temperatures by making last-minute bookings are having to compete with a surge in bookings from abroad, as Dutch, German and Italian visitors are up by almost 20% in some regions.
The news has provided a big boost to the Westcountry's tourist industry, with some accommodation providers boasting near-record figures, and a welcome reprieve after a succession of disappointing summers.
Alistair Handyside, chairman of the South West Tourism Alliance, said interest had soared since the weather improved this month. "I think it's the summer to stay in England," he said. "The website traffic of all the people we have spoken to has been very good. People will come down for a week, but then there's a lot of people who come down for a day. There will be lots more of those visitors. I think if you talk to most businesses they have been keeping their fingers crossed for this weather. It's been a long time coming. It's been five or six years since we had a weather like this and the businesses need to make the most of it. Long may it continue."
Carolyn Custerson, chairman of VisitDevon, said the county's biggest operators were reporting a 20% uplift in bookings for July and August. "There's is no doubt that this good weather has caused an uplift in people either taking a short break or a day trip," she said. "Some providers are reporting their strongest bookings for five years."
Dick Cliffe, chairman of Penzance Chamber of Commerce and a guesthouse owner in the town, said he took record takings for June, and July is shaping up to be similar, with a lot of tourists coming from abroad. "We have just had a constant stream of Dutch, Germans, Italians and Swiss." he said. "The demand now is amazing. The phone hasn't stopped ringing. The majority of times we only had a few rooms left. The town is packed out."Westcountry braced for a million visitors as heatwave continues | This is Cornwall
This is a piece from the Sidmouth Independent News from earlier in the year: