Financial News

  • 22 April 2014, 6:11

South West Hoping For Easter Tourism Boost

The tourism industry in the South West of England is hoping a successful Easter weekend will prove a much needed boost.

It has been estimated Devon alone has already suffered a 31m loss of trade this year because of the winter storms and floods.

One of the biggest setbacks was the collapse of the main railway line at Dawlish.

But the line is now open again, and it is hoped that with good weather, the region's economy could make a big dent in its 23% shortfall.

Helen Scott, from Visit South Devon, said: "Bookings were down from the start of the year, but have picked up well in the past couple of weeks.

"The reopening of the railway line has been hugely important, and with the storms behind us we want the public to know we're very much open for business."

At the award winning tourist attraction Pennywell Farm on the edge of Dartmoor, confidence is also high.

Director Angus Murray told Sky News they expect more than 4,000 visitors through the gates over the Easter weekend.

"Internet bookings were down considerably in January and February," he explains.

"But this week has been really busy so far, and with the good weather that we're having we're expecting a great weekend."

Some tourism experts say the upturn in trade is positive, but would like to see a faster recovery.

All will be hoping good visitor numbers this weekend will quicken the pace.

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