Why Devon’s robust tourism offer is the perfect investment opportunity
Some counties boast fantastic beaches. Others are blessed with chocolate box villages and pretty market towns. A few can lay claim to beautiful countryside, which is perfect for getting lost in.
Devon though has all of that and more.
From the Jurassic Coast to the English Rivera towns and the wild beauty of Dartmoor, this is a place where people go to escape.
It’s no surprise then that tourism is by far and away the largest revenue generator in Devon.
According to figures released by Visit Devon, 2018 was record year with visitor numbers up by 5% and the upward trend has continued in 2019.
Site visits were up almost 6per cent in the first two months of the year compared with the same period in 2018 and the tourism body has also reported a 20 per cent leap in overseas traffic.
The reasons behind the boom are many and varied. During last year’s long hot summer many people fell back in love with the Great British seaside and they have kept on coming back. Additionally, while Brexit may be causing uncertainty in some sectors, overseas tourists are at least making the most of the favourable exchange rate.
Sarah Stride, general manager for Visit South Devon, told Insider Media: “In the first two months of this year, we’ve already seen overseas interest in South Devon rise significantly led by the US (up 48 per cent), Australia (up 43 per cent) and Canada (up 42 per cent), followed by Netherlands, France, Spain, Ireland and Italy.
“To help leverage both domestic and international interest, we’re accelerating promotional activities to grab the attention of visitors and convert site-traffic into bookings. As well as captivating content, enticing emails, inspirational events, cool competitions, sizzling social media campaigns, and the launch of a series of new South Devon trails later this year, we’re sending out 20,000 extra destination brochures to high demand locations across the UK.”
All of which confirms what we already knew.
Devon is one of NPD’s key acquisition markets. That was why we bought Foxglove Manor. Set on the edge of Dartmoor National Park, this already popular hotel has an AA rosette restaurant and four-star facilities and we are now in a position to build on that impressive reputation.
Foxglove is the second property in our South West cluster and joins Atlantic Bay Hotel, which is just a stone’s throw from pretty Victorian resort of Woolacombe. Boasting fabulous views across this beautiful stretch of coastline, this property is the ideal base for exploring this part of the world.
As with every property we take on, we are now planning a programme of sensitive renovations for both Foxglove Manor and Atlantic Bay which will introduce them to the next generation of visitors.
This part of the world has inspired works by Charles Dickens, Agatha Christie, Thomas Hardy and Arthur Conan Doyle and now we are looking forward to writing our own small chapter in the history of this beautiful county.
TripAdvisor’s Top 10 Devon Attractions.
- Plymouth Hoe: The seafront here is the perfect place to watch the world go by or, if you are a feeling energetic, take part in one of the many watersports available.
- Crealy Theme Park: Featuring more than 60 rides and attractions and a zoo, this family friendly park is the largest in the South West.
- Babbacombe Model Village: First opened in 1936 this miniature village now boasts tiny versions of everything from Stonehenge to The Shard.
- Exeter Cathedral: One of the oldest and most beautiful cathedrals in England, it is a masterpiece of Gothic architecture and craftsmanship.
- Tarka Trail: Entirely traffic-free, this section of the Devon Coast to Coast follows the journey of Tarka the Otter in Henry Williamson’s classic tale
- Exeter Quay: One of the most historic parts of the city, the quayside is home to antique shops, galleries and fabulous bars and restaurants.
- Royal Albert Memorial Museum: Holding more than one million objects, the diverse collections include zoology, anthropology, fine art, local and geology.
- Paignton Zoo: Half a million visitors a year come to see the 2,000 and the 1,600 different species of plants.
- Tunnels Beaches: Hand carved in the 1820s by local entrepreneurs the tunnels which lead down to the beach turned Ilfracombe into one of Devon’s most popular resorts.
- Exmouth Beach: Boasting more than two miles of golden sand this is also the perfect sport to try your hand kite surfing, kayaking, paddleboarding or windsurfing.