Figures reveal that value of tourism in Devon is rising

PUBLISHED: 16:29 16 November 2016 | UPDATED: 16:29 16 November 2016

Derek Phillips, director of Heart of Devon with Sarah Stride, acting general manager of Visit South Devon.

Derek Phillips, director of Heart of Devon with Sarah Stride, acting general manager of Visit South Devon.

Archant

In 2015 alone, tourism contributed £3.5million more to the local economy than it did in 2014, rising to £252.5million.

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


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