Thursday, 22 May 2014

Is the economy picking up in East Devon? ......................... Or, the importance of tourism to the region's economy......

Following suggestions that things might be looking up in the likes of Sidmouth:
Futures Forum: Is the economy picking up in Sidmouth?
... it is possible that the economy is bouncing back in East Devon - but in the vital tourism trade - and not in the business of 'pouring concrete' everywhere:
Ed Vaizey attacks fellow minister Nick Boles on planning reform | Mail Online
Minister friend of Cameron attacks Boles (but only in words!) | East Devon Alliance

West Country benefits from “staycations”


But you need a dynamic and vibrant tourism sector to take advantage of it. Let us not forget that jobs are not all in sheds, the countryside is an economic asset and people will always need somewhere to stay.

West Country benefits from “staycations” | Sidmouth Independent News

Here's the story in full:

West Country to benefit from rise in 'staycationing'

By Western Daily Press  |  Posted: May 22, 2014
By Tristan Cork

Malmshead bridge and ford across the East Lyn River, one of the picturesque places on the Coleridge Way extention which travels from Porlock to Lynton

The South West is set to benefit from a big rise in the number of people "staycationing" – holidaying in your own country – but the challenge is to get foreign visitors to leave London.

A major survey by Barclays Travel, to coincide with the travel industry conference the firm is sponsoring this week, predicted that while London and the south east would feel the benefit of a massive rise in domestic tourists, the South West would not be far behind.

The survey showed that predicted spending in the West Country by domestic tourists will jump by almost £3 billion in the next few years. Staycationers spent £10.5 billion last year in the West, and by 2017, the Barclays survey predicts that will rise to £13.2billion – a rise of more than 12 per cent. Only London and the south east will see a bigger rise.

Barclays said the hospitality and leisure sectors will benefit most from the trend towards staycationing, with spending in pubs and restaurants by domestic tourists forecast to rise by 26 per cent to £37billion as more people dine out.

Hotels and B&B spending is set to increase by 25 per cent to £17 billion, with leisure attractions going up 27 per cent to £15 billion and shopping rising 23 per cent to £15.6 billion.

Mike Saul, head of hospitality and leisure at Barclays, said: "The economy is improving and confidence is certainly growing, and while this will lead to a gradual rise in the number of consumers looking to holiday abroad again, it is unlikely to precipitate a return to the holidaying habits we were seeing prior to the downturn."

He went on: "With domestic tourism set to be big business for the UK's hospitality and retail sectors, those with a clearly targeted strategy are set to benefit."

Meanwhile, the boss of the English tourism industry – Visit England's chief executive James Berresford – said the challenge for tourism chiefs in regions was to attract foreign visitors out of London.

West Country to benefit from rise in 'staycationing' | Western Daily Press

Indeed, it seems the West Country should be embracing the tourist:

Foreign tourists lavish £552m in Devon, Cornwall and Somerset

By GDemianyk | Posted: May 13, 2014

Tourism is the lifeblood of the Devon and Cornwall economy but they rely principally on domestic business. Yet the latest Office for National Statistics figures show how the region is increasingly popular with foreigners.

Foreign tourists lavish £552m in Devon, Cornwall and Somerset | Western Morning News
Overseas tourism in West to rise by 31% to £1.4billion, study says | Western Morning News

The Sidmouth Independent News has often asked the question of how exactly the District Council considers the tourist industry:

Similarly, the former East Devon Business Forum did not have a high regard for this either:

For that matter, how exactly does central government consider the tourist industry?

Rather, central govt seems to think that the 'building' boom will pick up the economy:
... which brings us back to Ed Vaizey questioning the direction of government policy:

Don't turn countryside to concrete: Cameron ally attacks fellow minister on planning reform

  • Ed Vaizey claims countryside could be swamped with unwanted homes
  • Planning law reform could cost votes among supporters, he said
In an outspoken attack, Ed Vaizey says his own government's 'presumption in favour of development' is artificially raising estimates of housing demand
In an outspoken attack, Ed Vaizey says his own government's 'presumption in favour of development' is artificially raising estimates of housing demand
The countryside could be swamped with thousands of unwanted homes under new planning laws, a minister warned yesterday.
In an outspoken attack, Ed Vaizey says his own government's 'presumption in favour of development' is artificially raising estimates of housing demand.
In a letter to planning minister Nick Boles, the culture minister lays bare Tory fears that the coalition's decision to tear up planning laws risks alienating traditional supporters and costing votes.
Mr Vaizey, who is one of David Cameron's closest allies, says the projected levels of housing need in parts of the countryside – including his own Oxfordshire constituency – are up to three times the true figure.
He warns this has 'significant consequences for many local communities which are now faced with levels of growth that will fundamentally change the nature of settlements'.
He calls for an 'urgent review of the planning methodology that leads to such massive numbers of homes being planned, so that more realistic outcomes result'.
He says councils are being forced to earmark more and more land for housing or risk falling foul of the development presumption that leaves them little power to block projects they think excessive. 
In his reply, Mr Boles defended the push for new housing, saying: 'One of the key constraints that is affecting growth in some of our most prosperous and dynamic regions are high house prices and affordability. I am sure you will agree this is something we are all working hard to change.'


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