Tourism businesses in the Heart of Devon, a
tourism partnership promoting East Devon, Exeter, Mid Devon and
parts of Teignbridge,
have seen an increase in visitor numbers over the summer months.
The newly branded Heart of Devon tourism
partnership attributes this to a targeted and focused national
marketing campaign promoting the Heart of Devon area and an online
campaign that has seen a leap of 129% visitors to the website.
Despite the recession and some other areas of
the South West experiencing a decline in visitor numbers, tourism
providers in East Devon, Exeter, Mid Devon and parts of
Teignbridge have experienced an increase in bookings for June,
July and August, compared to the same period in 2009.
Sandy Tilke of Treasure Trails Devon says she
has seen the number of visitors taking one of their trails
dramatically increase, with a 275% increase in sales over July and
August compared to last year - she calls this the 'daycation'
effect, a fun day out for families that costs very little.
Other attractions in the area, such as Escot
Park near Ottery St Mary, and Crealy Great Adventure Park near
Exeter have also had a very successful summer with numbers up on
Crealy has seen the number of visitors
camping overnight at the park increase by 75% from 2009. Both
Escot and Crealy have invested in new developments this year.
Escot launched its 'Camp Wild' summer camp in July, and Crealy
recently opened its new Vortex watercoaster as well as the new
Woodlands Wilderness Wildlife Adventure Area.
Accommodation providers have also fared well,
with Mazzard Farm near Ottery St Mary having a 100% occupancy rate
throughout July and visitors staying in the University of Exeter's
accommodation over the summer increasing by up to 30% in 2010. The
Hartnoll Hotel in Tiverton recently invested in a refurbishment
and has seen its occupancy rates increase by 30% on last year's
figures and turnover increase by 66%.
The Heart of Devon
Tourism Partnership is planning an extensive marketing campaign
over the next 12 months to raise further awareness of the area and
attract more visitors. Campaigns
will be targeted at families, activity holidays and cultural
breaks. An "On Your Doorstep" campaign will also be launched to
encourage visitors from within the South West to visit and explore
the Heart of Devon.
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