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South-West Overseas Tourism Boost

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3:15pm 22nd August 2014
(Updated 3:15pm 22nd August 2014)

Tourism bosses have told Pirate FM Cornwall is pretty much fully-booked for the summer bank holiday.

With fewer children around, a slow start to the season is being blamed on new fines for term-time holidays.

But it comes as Visit Britain reveals the number of overseas visitors to the south-west rose by 48% last summer.

Visits are growing at a faster rate than anywhere else in Britain.

Its research revealed in terms of holiday activities, the South West has a strong outdoor offering and is popular with those travelling with children.

Of all holiday visits from overseas that only took place in the South West, around a quarter included one of the South West's national parks, Exmoor or Dartmoor, while almost three in five reported going for a walk in the countryside - the highest proportion seen anywhere in Britain.

Visitors to the South West are also especially likely to go cycling or visit a historic house than they are anywhere else in Britain.

Almost half of overseas visits to the South West included a trip to the beach or coast - only a slightly lower proportion than in Wales, which saw the highest percentage.

Over a third (37%) go walking by the coast, making the South West one of the top two areas for this activity - again, behind Wales. However, with the South West attracting more than twice the number of overseas visitors than Wales in 2013, it certainly is the region which sees the largest number of overseas visitors visiting Britain's coastline.

From March to May 2014, Cornwall, Glastonbury and Devon featured in a VisitBritain GREAT campaign advert across 134 digital screens in all terminals at Heathrow Airport to illustrate the range and variety of Britain's natural beauty and inspire passengers to explore further afield during their visit - or on future trips.

Patricia Yates, Director of Strategy and Communications at VisitBritain, said: "Our figures reveal that the South West is now the go-to holiday destination for overseas visitors during the peak summer months. Not only is it the fastest growing region in Britain for summer holidays, but it's now overtaken pre-cession record levels.
 
"Working closely with partners and local tourist boards, VisitBritain has played a key role in encouraging tourists to explore the South West and other regions across Britain."

Dan Panton-King is from the Met Office, he tells us what we can expect over the bank holiday weekend, he said: "Saturday looks like the best day in Cornwall, and on Sunday although it will be cloudy, certainly in the morning it will be dry.

"The signs at the moment for going into September suggest it will remain fairly changeable, there will be sunshine around but there will be some showers as well."

We are told there could be some more warm weather on the way, but we won't top Spain's temperatures again.

He added: "It probably won't reach those sorts of temperatures quite that warm again, through next week and on into September there will be showers and sunshine, that sunshine could be quite warm with temperatures reaching twenty or the low twenties."

3:15pm 22nd August 2014

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