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Cornish Holiday Booking Fears

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2:33pm 28th March 2013
(Updated 2:33pm 28th March 2013)

Pirate FM has learnt Easter holiday bookings in Cornwall have taken a hit.

Tourism businesses fear the wintry weather up north is putting off visitors.

It is amid claims Brits are flocking to travel agents for foreign breaks and guaranteed sunshine.

Dick Cliffe runs a B&B in Penzance and speaks for local traders: "We've got quite a lot of foreign interest but it's very much depressed demand from the UK. The weather is obviously appalling up country and they assume it's that bad down here, but it isn't, although it is very, very cold so I can't say I blame people for putting it off.

"Some people are very concerned that they haven't had the level of bookings early on. But foreign demand is very strong. Partly because the pound is a little bit weaker and also because I think we got good publicity last year from the Olympics."

Gaynor North owns a small shop in Bude and tells Pirate FM she relies on footfall: "We only have certain months of the year when we get a lot more footfall and if we don't take enough to cover us it does mean the winter period is even harder.  In lots of Cornish areas there isn't any money so we do rely on tourism to keep us going.

"Definitely the last year I've noticed less people with disposable income, especially when they come on holiday. Our winter period is even harder. Lots of businesses will shut down for the whole of January just to save money on electricity and heat."

So far bottlenecks on the A30 are coping, including the infamous stretch at Temple on Bodmin Moor.

Truro accountant Robert Bailey says work to upgrade it can not start soon enough: "We need this road sorting out. The railways down here are just dreadful. The only real transport we have is the roads, and how many county towns in this country aren't even linked by a dual carriageway, let alone a motorway? I'm pretty sure Truro must be the only one.

"Businesses down here, their markets are in the north or in the south east, they're in Europe. And we're an awful long way West. Local businesses are trying to get their products to market, they've got to fight their way up the A30 amongst all the holiday traffic, amongst all the tractors, and it just adds another barrier to us improving the economy."


2:33pm 28th March 2013

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