Holidaymakers looking to spend a summer staycation in Devon will soon find all the information they need at the click of a mouse.
Celebrity chef Michael Caines MBE is spearheading a new initiative which he hopes will encourage those who would usually be planning a foreign break to look closer to home.
His new website, Destination Devon, will feature guides, reviews, tips, advice and a whole host of other information.
Michael has teamed up with publisher Nick Cooper, whose team produce a range of food and drink magazines and websites, including Food Magazine and The Trencherman’s Guide and former newspaper editor and the founder of The Exeter Daily, Marc Astley.
The site https://destination-devon.co.uk/ is free to use and will highlight some of the best places to stay, eat and spend leisure time in the post Covid-19 environment.
Business will be able to post their listings for free with enhanced paid-for packages also available.
Details about how to access the site are available on the Destination Devon home page.
Michael said: “As a new site it will evolve over time as new information is added but we want businesses to start submitting their information, which will be vetted before being published.
“We all know the landscape has changed significantly in the past few months and, as a result of that, holidaymakers will be looking for a very different experience.
“We will be looking to support those business who can offer great standards of service, cleanliness and good outdoor facilities. We want to do all we can to help businesses emerge from this crisis.
“Here in Devon we are perfectly placed to accommodate people who are demanding a safe environment and who, above all, want to create some lasting memories.
Michael said the opportunity the UK tourist industry now has, as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, was the catalyst for launching the site.
He added: “We have some wonderful, natural assets here, all of which will be very attractive when we come out of this crisis.”
A study conducted by the website CabinBookers in May 2020 suggested that staycations are set to boom this year, as many Brits look for alternative holiday options due to closed borders and travel restrictions.
Ninety per cent of participants said that they plan to holiday in the UK once the restrictions are lifted, with 44% stating this was due to the pandemic leaving them with tighter budgets.
Meanwhile, eight in 10 people admitted that they now had a higher appreciation for the UK’s beauty spots, with 86% choosing a countryside holiday over a city break.
Michael said the new site would be easy to navigate with categories divided into places to stay, leisure activities, restaurants, pubs, cafes and bars as well as local food producers.
It will be further broken down to reflect visitors own personal requirements such as disabled facilities, family-friendly accommodation and venues with access to good outdoor facilities.
“This will not be just a standard tourism site, it will be a site that has been created in the aftermath of, and with, the Covid-19 pandemic front and centre of our minds.
“Our whole ethos will be to deliver information that people can use to make informed choices and discover a Devon that they might not have known existed.”
The website can be found at https://destination-devon.co.uk/