Thursday, 17 November 2016

The growth of tourism in East Devon - and the complete lack of interest from the authorities

How well is tourism doing in the County?
Futures Forum: Cycling in Devon: "an exceptional variety of multi-use routes set in some of the country’s most beautiful natural landscapes."

And how well is the District Council responding?
Futures Forum: Devolution, tourism and misplaced priorities in East Devon

Last month, there were concerns that the County was 'missing out':


12 OCT 2016

Our only tourism vehicle at the moment is our Local Enterprise Partnership – which has a small amount of spin and rhetoric about tourism in its ”vision” but no actual plans or extra funding. Basically, tourism is left to the small and medium businesses that barely feature in their plans. Despite tourism having higher growth than any other sector they deal with.

Basically, if there isn’t a nuclear option, they don’t want to know. Tourism will no doubt be on the cards for Hinkley C though!

“Tourist boost for Cornwall – but Devon could lose out” | East Devon Watch

Tourist boost for Cornwall – but Devon could lose out

By Western Morning News | Posted: November 02, 2011

Devon risks being sidelined from a lavish Government-backed advertising campaign to get Britons to holiday at home.

Domestic tourism board VisitEngland has been allocated almost £20 million through the Regional Growth Fund, the Government's flagship plan to get economies outside of London motoring. The tourist body for Cornwall, VisitCornwall, is among 14 partner organisations that will soak up much of the cash on promoting "staycations" via national media. But VisitDevon is currently not one of them. The campaign is looking to capitalise on the feel-good factor surrounding the London Olympics and the Queen's Diamond Jubilee next year.

Tourism leaders say the Government is right to invest in the industry as it helps meet the aims of boosting sectors beyond the City of London and reviving areas facing public sector job cuts.

Estimates say if the 13 per cent increase in domestic tourism is maintained until the end of the year it would mean an increase of £2.7 billion for the UK economy – enough to create more than 50,000 jobs spread across the whole of the UK. The £20 million will be used on a three-year project entitled Growing Tourism Locally.

James Berresford, chief executive of VisitEngland, said: "With this additional money we can mount a serious campaign to stimulate domestic tourism that has the potential to create the equivalent of 9,500 full time jobs in areas across the country suffering economic challenges." He said tourism board "partners" will manage parts of the campaign. They represent Bath, Birmingham, Bristol, Cumbria, Durham, Kent, Manchester, Merseyside, Newcastle-Gateshead, Northumberland, Nottinghamshire, Peak District and Derbyshire, and York. Each body is thought to have secured match-funding from the private sector.

VisitEngland, which will buy television, newspaper and Internet space, is yet to decide the size of the slice of the cash each area will get. A series of thematic campaigns focusing on countryside, heritage, coastal and business tourism will run alongside.

Malcolm Bell, head of VisitCornwall, said beaches, coastlines and other "icons of Cornwall" would be deployed as "best products in the shop window" to sell England. He added: "If you take the coastal theme, you would say isn't it wonderful to have a seaside holiday in the UK – the product to sell that will be Cornwall. People understand it. This is a good use of public money because marketing works."

VisitDevon was unable to comment yesterday, but VisitEngland said it could feature in the thematic advertising.

Tourist boost for Cornwall – but Devon could lose out | Western Morning News

It is clear, however, that tourism is very important to the Devon economy:

Figures reveal that value of tourism in Devon is rising

16 November 2016 Callum Lawton

Derek Phillips, director of Heart of Devon with Sarah Stride, acting general manager of Visit South Devon.
New figures have revealed that the value of tourism in East Devon is continuing to rise. In 2015 alone, tourism contributed £3.5million more to the local economy than it did in 2014, rising to £252.5million. The figures come from a new report provided to Visit South Devon and the Devon Tourism Partnership, which analyses trends in tourism year-on-year.

The latest findings show that UK-originated and overseas trips to East Devon increased four per cent to 521,000 trips in 2015, compared to 502,000 trips 2014. The average number of nights per East Devon trip rose by eight per cent, equivalent to 166,000 additional nights in the local area.

Associated spend by tourists visiting from outside the local area leapt by £7.6million to £117.3million in 2015. However, income from day trips fell by £4.1million to just over £135million – equivalent to a three per cent drop.

Sarah Stride, acting general manager for Visit South Devon, which is responsible for the marketing of Mid and East Devon following its merger with Heart of Devon in September, said: “The latest economic impact figures show a positive trend with growing visitor numbers and increasing spend.

“This demonstrates the clear economic importance of tourism and shows the need to continue marketing all the many attractions of East Devon to visitors, both domestically and internationally. Despite a drop in day trips, which can in part be explained by the unsettled weather over the main school holidays, the average amount spent on day trips was up overall.”

Looking forward to the 2016 tourism figures, Sarah said that Visit South believes that the upward trend in visits to East Devon, and overall spend, is likely to continue. “2016 has been a solid year for tourism, aided by the long Indian summer and growth in demand for staycations following Brexit,” she added. East Devon’s captivating countryside, its stunning Jurassic coastline and many tourist attractions have helped to entice visitors back year after year, and with new reasons to visit, such as the Pig at Combe and Seaton Jurassic, we have every confidence that the upward trend will continue, especially once the new super Area Tourism Partnership website for Mid, East and South Devon launches later this year.”

A new website incorporating Mid, East and South Devon will be launched in December following the merger of Heart of Devon and Visit South Devon’s boards earlier this year.

Tourists searching for Heart of Devon destinations and attractions from December will be redirected to the new website, which will host an expanded portfolio of area destinations, new area content and information about events, things to do, attractions to visit, places to stay, drink and dine in. For more information on Visit South Devon visit: www.visitsouthdevon.co.uk

Figures reveal that value of tourism in Devon is rising - News - Sidmouth Herald

The East Devon Watch blog points to the failings of the District Council:


17 NOV 2016

And does our Local Enterprise Partnership value tourism in its ”growth” agenda? Not on your life, unless you count trips around Somerset nuclear plants, perhaps! And does EDDC have a dynamic tourism strategy? Attempts to find a councillor “champion” for tourism on the EDDC website were fruitless.

£117.3m spent on tourism in East Devon | East Devon Watch

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