Latest figures from Visit South Devon reveal that 2018 was an exceptional year for tourism with visitors to www.visitsouthdevon.co.uk up more than 5% on 2017.
The first two months of 2019 have seen the upward trend continue with site visits up almost 6% on the same period last year, including a dramatic 20% leap in overseas traffic.
Looking forward, Visit South Devon anticipates another strong year boosted by the weakness of the pound and the growing quality of accommodation and attractions in South Devon.
Sarah Stride, General Manager for Visit South Devon, said: “2018 was a strong year for tourism. In the early 2018 we saw the release of The Mercy, starring Colin Firth and Rachel Weisz, creating international interest in South Devon, the Teign Estuary and Teignmouth. This was followed by a long-hot summer, creating a positive, lasting memory and a lengthened season for bookings.
“This year, we’re anticipating further growth in the sector, boosted both by domestic travellers concerned about post-Brexit travel, and by overseas visitors looking to benefit from the favourable exchange rate.
“In the first two months of this year, we’ve already seen overseas interest in South Devon rise significantly led by the US (up 48%), Australia (up 43%) and Canada (up 42%), followed by Netherlands, France, Spain, Ireland and Italy.
“To help leverage both domestic and international interest, we’re accelerating promotional activities to grab the attention of visitors and convert site-traffic into bookings. As well as captivating content, enticing emails, inspirational events, cool competitions, sizzling social media campaigns, and the launch of a series of new South Devon trails later this year, we’re sending out 20,000 extra destination brochures to high demand locations across the UK.”
Stride added: “From cliff top views and country lanes to rolling fields, moors and wild adventures on land and sea, South Devon is an incredible area, packed with activities, personality and amazing places to explore. With over 120 miles of coastline, no less than three Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, the Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site, a national park, the South West Coast Path and host of nature reserves, it’s no wonder that South Devon is a stand out destination with huge global interest.”
For more information on Visit South Devon visit: www.visitsouthdevon.co.uk