'Tourism is one of the things we do best!'

East Devon MP Simon Jupp with Wayne Brown and Peter Wood from Putts Corner

East Devon MP Simon Jupp with Wayne Brown and Peter Wood from Putts Corner - Credit: Simon Jupp

East Devon’s stunning beaches, chocolate-box towns, idyllic countryside, and fantastic food draws in visitors from every corner of the United Kingdom and further afield.

Many local businesses found it really tough over the past two years because they depend on that usual influx of visitors. I heard first-hand the struggles many faced when the cash flow dried up. 

There were some glimmers of hope for the industry once lockdown lifted.

Over the past two years, more younger people have chosen to book to stay in East Devon rather than go on their usual package holiday in Europe. With our area clearly making a lasting impression, many are coming back for more.

Lifting international travel restrictions ahead of some of our neighbours also allowed the UK to tap into new audiences from around the world.

During English Tourism Week recently, I visited several local businesses to talk about how they have seen their customers change and what they have planned for the year ahead. 

One such place was the Caravan and Motorhome Club site at Putts Corner. I was impressed by the facilities on site and interested to learn about how they have seen an evolution in their members with many younger couples buying modern camper vans.

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Another site was Devon Country Pursuits at Escot Park where you can have a go at quad biking, archery, axe throwing and clay-pigeon shooting. Martin and the team regularly welcome groups from across the UK.

I also met up with John from Exmouth Watersports which gives people the opportunity to enjoy and explore our spectacular coastline safely. The team offer a range of experiences for everyone who wants to get out on the water.

Tourism is one of the things we do best here in East Devon – and you don’t have to go far to be a tourist.

It is worth visiting www.eastdevonly.co.uk, a new website funded by the government and created by EDDC to showcase our corner of the county.

Once you’ve decided where you want to explore, don’t forget to visit my www.eastdevonpubs.co.uk website to find your new favourite watering hole.