Survey predicts a bumper season

Joseph Bulmer

Good signs for North Devon tourism industry, according to study

NEW research points to a bumper year ahead for North Devon’s tourism industry.

The study by a self-catering holiday specialist suggests that concerns about the cost of holidaying abroad, combined with the impact of next April’s Air Passenger Duty (APD) hikes, could be a boon to local tourism in 2012.

According to the survey by Blue Chip Holidays, which has more than 50 high-end holiday homes in North Devon, 44 per cent of nearly 3,000 people polled said that they planned to increase the number of domestic and South West holidays in 2012.

However, when they were asked how they would react to the planned APD from April, the numbers of those saying they would be more likely holiday in the UK rather than overseas leapt to 67 per cent.

Alan Taylor, managing director of Blue Chip Holidays, said that bookings for 2012 were already up 30 per cent on last year at exactly the same point.

“The good news for North Devon’s holiday home sector is that customers who choose not to holiday overseas intend to spend the money they save in the UK; 26 per cent of those polled in our survey said they’d upgrade their accommodation to somewhere really special,” he said.

“A further 30 per cent said they’d choose to treat themselves on their holiday in the UK.

“On top of that 35 per cent said they’d use any money saved to take an additional domestic break in the UK.”