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Plan to save the tourist industry after worst ever summer

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: September 01, 2012

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The Westcountry tourist industry will have to find new ways to attract visitors to the region in the wake of the wettest summer for a century.

Holiday bosses admitted yesterday that the impact of nearly a foot and a half of rain through June, July and August across most of our region would fundamentally change booking practices.

Malcolm Bell, chief executive of VisitCornwall, said online reservations had already altered habits with holidaymakers booking their summer break much later than used to be the case.

And he warned that after four poor summers in a row – topped by this year's washout – even more visitors would be waiting until the last minute and hoping for a good forecast before committing to a Westcountry holiday.

"The legacy of this summer will be an inevitable trend towards later booking," he said. "Soon it won't be a trend – it will be the norm – people will keep their options open."

He went on: "We are going to have to be more creative. Hope for good weather but plan for bad."

A special report by the WMN today reveals the true extent of the effect of the dismal summer with a number of weather-dependant businesses teetering on the brink of going under.

Ben Brunning of the South Hams-based Nearly Naked veg box has suspended deliveries to his veg-box customers indefinitely.

"I've farmed all my life," he said. "But I can honestly say this year has been the worst year of my career for horticultural produce."

Cereal farmers are also struggling to get the harvest in.

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  • Doitdreckley  |  September 02 2012, 8:47PM

    Understand where Nick is coming from but someone on minimum wage may not give a monkeys about your fish and chips when they are about to go off shift. They may have a life to get on with. Can see both sides of this.

  • nickthompson  |  September 02 2012, 6:27PM

    Cornwall could set the example buy getting one or two fish and chip shops to remain open after 9pm (yes 9 pm). Several of us on holiday from London stopped at a fish and chip shop in Crowlass at 8.55 on friday evening last, I noticed that Roe was on the menu,only to be told curtly "I am not cooking that we close at 9", I was under the impression that Cornwall was a holiday destination,Weston Super Mare where we stayed on the way down, is such a place, and having left the pub at 11 we were able to spend over £45 in one of many food outlets that all opened till 1am, come on CORNWALL WAKE UP.

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  • Doitdreckley  |  September 02 2012, 12:02PM

    Charles shows the hypocritical nature of the 'right': where 'free enterprise' overides family values.

  • youngcornwall  |  September 01 2012, 7:32PM

    The weather can make or break a holiday, so what do you do? Watch the weather forecast, if anyone has had their holiday in Cornwall ruined because of the weather this year they only have themselves to blame, not the weather. So it is up to the holiday trade to give a good financial incentive when holidaymakers book early, not rip them off because it is the main weeks, the main weeks are not normally reliable regarding the weather anyway. We don't want Cornwall another Blackpool do we?

  • Charlespk  |  September 01 2012, 6:01PM

    The trouble is as soon as anyone tries to starts an enterprise like a Lap-Dancing club or a Casino with slot machines, that's more appropriate for our holiday climate, (Or say a 'Dirty Dancing' type holiday establishment), the PC brigade get alerted. . We will never be able to compete directly with hotter climates. . But it's not doing Spain much good at the moment.

  • reptor2456  |  September 01 2012, 5:29PM

    Sorry but you cannot save a dead donkey. Why would anyone want to "Holiday" in torbay when you have parking wardens given out tickets after 3 mins without a ticket, over inflated parking charges, charity shops and pound shops, dogs on the beaches, drug addicts and dog poop. Lets hope they stay away for good. Nice way to avoid direct blame tho and blame the rain in stead..LOL

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  • Cweed  |  September 01 2012, 5:17PM

    When the tourism industry has the same lower water costs, energy costs, food costs, and a preferential 5% VAT rate as has most of Europe then maybe they could compete in a level playing field. As with any industry prices have to cover the costs otherwise it's a case of lower your prices and go out of business! Tourism is about travelling but we have some of the highest travelling costs in the world. Fuel, parking, train and bus fares, more than . Yes there is an element of "rip off" but it's not by the majority of the UK tourism industry.

    |   20
  • 2ladybugs  |  September 01 2012, 2:22PM

    I quite agree Stork. For the prices you pay in this country it is by far and away cheaper to travel abroad where sun is more or less guaranteed. Rip-off Britain comes to mind, I am afraid to say.

    |   27
  • Stork  |  September 01 2012, 1:49PM

    The tourist industry needs to reduce its prices to attract more customers. Keep the prices high, and stay empty !

    |   30

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