Fears people will be put off picking the South West for a holiday destination because of the floods could be alleviated by a new survey showing three-quarters would still head to the region.
According to a survey of 1,000 people by www.stayindevon.co.uk, even with the recent spate of bad weather, 75% of people would not be put off holidaying in the South West.
Despite fears from tourism bodies that the floods and constant media coverage will dent the Westcountry’s main source of income the survey suggests otherwise.
Concerns the destruction of the rail line at Dawlish meant Cornwall would be cut off from the rest of England could also have been eased with statistics showing over 90% would travel to the region by road or air.
The holiday website said that in spite of the flooding of the Somerset Levels, business and the Environment Agency have stressed only a small proportion of the county – around 2% - has been affected.
Matt Fletcher, from www.stayindevon.co.uk, said the survey was positive news for the region.
He said: “The South West is such a beautiful area to visit, and it is great to see that so many people haven’t been put off by the weather and will still be coming to enjoy a holiday in the region in 2014.”
The poll also showed that as well as three-quarters of families still expecting to enjoy their holiday in the region, over 75% couples would also still chose to visit.
The survey also showed that dog owners had not been put off by images of windswept beaches with around 80% of people questioned from the category saying they hoped to enjoy the area in 2014.
Some businesses claim to have seen a rise in bookings despite the poor weather.
North Cornwall-based Beach Retreats, which has around 70 self-catering properties, said it has seen a 95% rise in half term bookings year-on-year.
It’s booking since January for the half term period are up 60%, while bookings this month for the rest of the year are up by 62%.
Manager Andrew Easton said: “There continues to be a deep love for Cornwall and people around the country know that regardless of the storms, Cornwall is a great place to visit – now and of course later in the year.
“We have a strong business proposition, a fantastic portfolio of high-quality self-catering properties in the best locations, with the reassurance that our guests are in safe hands when coming to stay with us. And as you would expect half term is very busy.”
Visit Devon announced last week (Fri) that it is joining the social media campaign ‘#openforbusiness’ to emphasise that for the county it is business as usual.
Chairman of Visit Devon, Carolyn Custerson, said: “We remain one of the most beautiful holiday destinations in the UK and want to redress the misconception that the county is currently inaccessible.
“We are overcoming the challenges we have faced and look forward to welcoming visitors to Devon this half-term. Devon is most definitely open for business.”