South West biggest winner in staycation boom

Tourists are spending more money in the South West of England than in any other part of the country, new statistic show.

With the number of Brits opting to take a 'staycation' rather than heading overseas having soared over the past couple of years, the counties of Cornwall, Devon and Dorset in particular have emerged as the big winners.

In fact, according to the latest research into spending habits, tourists and day-trippers are now spending around £500 million a year in the South West of the country.

While this is still relatively small fry when compared to the hundreds of millions spent by overseas visitors holidaying in London, it still represents a major boost to the regional economy and proof that growing numbers of Brits are keen to explore their own backyards, and are happy to spend good money to do so.

The latest figures, which have been compiled from data released by VisitEngland, VisitScotland and VisitWales, also show what kind of activities people are getting up to on their staycations.

Outdoor pursuits, not just beautiful beaches, drawing the tourists

Above all, sailing and surfing are big business in the South West, with 54 per cent of all water sports taking place in this part of the country, while rambling and hiking are also popular pastimes, with enthusiasts spending big money on hotels, restaurants and tourist attractions.

Welcoming the findings, Malcolm Bell, the chief executive of Visit Cornwall, noted that it was both "surprising and pleasant" that the region is managing to push above its weight when it comes to winning the tourist pound.

Indeed, according to local tourist chiefs, the South West is managing to attract huge numbers of visitors each year, despite not having the sizeable marketing budgets of Wales or Scotland.

This comes soon after it was reported that a number of new hit TV shows have been driving tourism to the South West.

In particular, the success of Poldark and Vikings have served to showcase the natural beauty of the region, with fans travelling from all parts of the UK to see the coastal landscapes and quaint finishing villages for themselves.

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