Tourism industry receives a boost during June and July sunshine as summer holidays kick off to a promising start.

THIS summer could be ‘one of the best seasons for a decade’ if the hot and sunny weather keeps up, a local businessman has claimed.

Rick Turner, director of the BIG Sheep and training partner for the South West Tourism Alliance, said the sunshine through June and July had been ‘liquid gold’.

Mr Turner, who also owns Atlantis Adventure Park in Bideford, added: “The initial spell of seriously hot weather in June saw people racing for the beaches.

“But over the last three weeks we have seen increasing numbers coming for day out at the attractions.

“There is a real vibe at the moment in the industry and if the weather keeps up, this will be one of the best summer seasons for a decade.”

With schools breaking up on Friday, the region has been basking in balmy temperatures and the Met Office predicts the dry weather will stay.

Eddy Carroll, chief meteorologist at the Met Office, said: “Although there is a risk of showers, for most the fine, largely dry and warm weather looks like it could well persist into August.”

Bideford-based lettings agency holidaycottages.co.uk also reported a 22.3 per cent increase in bookings in the last week, compared to the same period last year.

Managing director James Morris said: “Now that the summer holidays have started, families are taking the opportunity to go on their annual get away and make the most of the great weather.”

Keep checking www.northdevongazette.co.uk for the latest weather updates.