It has recently been reported that Visit England is in negotiations to secure funds that would help to champion specific regions of the country, with Devon and other areas of the South West of the UK being one of the regions that would ultimately benefit.
The aim of the project is to encourage more foreign visitors to the regions in a bid to advertise more of the country to a larger global audience. In 2012, many of the major towns and cities welcomed millions of foreign tourists to the UK because of the Olympics in London, but several of the more traditional tourist destinations did not receive a huge influx of visitors and instead had to rely on domestic tourists.
Last year, Britain's tourism chief caused outrage in the South West after suggesting that visitors do not come to the UK for beach holidays despite 728,000 foreign tourists visiting Devon (425,000) and Cornwall 303,000) alone in 2011. Critics that included local MPs and tourist boards suggested that Visit Britain’s Sandie Dawe ‘talked down’ the region in an attempt to lure millions of visitors to the UK for the Olympics.
If the bid is successful, certain areas will receive a portion of the £350 million funding. This is likely to please many business owners in the region, large and small, as the local economy relies heavily on money coming in from tourism.
Matt Fletcher is a blogger and travel writer from North Devon. After establishing a firm interest in all things media related and returning to the South West after university, I am currently relishing being able to convince people why the South West is Best. When I’m not surfing the web, I can often be found attempting to surf the glorious waves of North Devon.