Devon bursts out in the sunny tourist boom

Tourism bosses report that Devon’s resorts, accommodation and attractions erupted as sunshine helped boost the start of the holiday season – and they say all signs are good for a repeat of last year’s Staycation Summer record in the county.

Car parks, pub gardens, holiday parks and hotels are all seeing booming visitor numbers – holidaymakers and locals enjoying day trips over the bank holiday weekend and Easter school holidays. Only the indoor attractions were quiet as everyone took advantage of the first extended sunny spells of the year.

Sally Everton of Visit Devon and Dick Wood of Devon’s Top Attractions both reported that all early data was positive. There were fears that last year’s record number of visitors could decline once foreign holiday destinations reopen after pandemic restrictions. But tourism officials now say they are confident that many people who discovered the county last year are returning.

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“Brixham in particular is packed,” Ms Everton said. “We went to our local pub on Good Friday and all the tables in this beer garden were full. The feeling is ‘we’re back’. Last summer there was still an air of caution, but for first time in years everyone happy and relaxed Self catering accommodation and hotels are all having great bookings – holiday parks have been completely packed traditional bed and breakfasts didn’t think they were going to be busy, then last minute pick ups went well thanks to the nice weather.

“The other thing that was really good was that the attractions showed that many locals are back, exploring what’s on our doorstep.”

Members of Devon’s Top Attractions also reported a ‘crappy’ start to the season over the Easter holidays. They also saw good numbers of visitors from locals and holidaymakers who were all out in force.

Spokesman Dick Wood said: “That, coupled with the perfect weather, proved a winning combination and perfect for the Easter egg hunt too! Having spent the last two Easters in lockdown, the top attractions of Devon are delighted to be open with no restrictions and busy welcoming happy visitors through their doors

“One of the things we were hoping for last year was that people who came last year for the Staycation because they couldn’t go overseas would come back – and that’s what seems to be happening. The good thing about Devon is that it’s so big you could come three or four years in a row and still not see it all.

Anne Blackham of Devon’s Top Attractions added: “I live near Dawlish and Dawlish Warren and all the car parks were full over the Easter weekend – even the overflow car park. The data I got from all our attractions really encouraging – some of the smaller attractions haven’t responded yet and that usually means they’re in too much of a rush!”

“While we have enjoyed ‘an Easter Spring’ with warm weather, another holiday season has begun and the highly anticipated guide to Devon’s Top Attractions 2022 has also arrived. This ever-popular holiday guide is widely available in the Devon and across the UK and can be picked up for free from over 3,200 outlets plus the new, increasingly popular online version that comes with it.

“The guide remains a holiday staple for both holidaymakers and locals who love its useful information, maps and format, with people enjoying entering competitions to win the best Golden Tickets prizes and holidays to be won. This Practical Guide continues to be both popular and useful and offers a comprehensive road map of Devon, a guide to beaches and 37 ideas for quality days out at Devon’s top tourist attractions.

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