‘Light at the end of the tunnel’ for East Devon’s top attractions
- Credit: Devon's Top Attractions
There is light at the end of the proverbial tunnel for Devon’s leading visitor attractions as they announce their re-opening dates and plans.
Attractions including Stuart Line Cruises in Exmouth and Bicton Park, near Budleigh Salterton, are preparing to re-open their doors follow three national lockdowns in the last 12 months.
This announcement will come as welcome news for everyone in the Devon tourism sector as our nation makes its way forward towards life on a more normal footing.
The chairman of ‘Devon’s Top Attractions’ Dick Wood, said: “It’s obviously been the toughest and most challenging year for everyone in living memory, but our member visitor attractions and tourism in Devon has been one of the hardest-hit business sectors through the long, enforced closures.
“This third lockdown has been another blow for our 36 member attractions, some of whom are unable to open their doors again until May 17, although some are starting limited operations from 12 April under the current recovery roadmap.
“But it means that many of our members have now missed both the February Half Term and Easter holidays trade, plus the May Day Bank Holiday weekend too.
“As some attractions take 20 per cent of their total annual income at Easter, Covid restrictions will inevitably now impact on their businesses both this year and last.
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“But our member attractions have shown remarkable strength and adaptability over the last 12 months, and innovation has become their forte to overcome the obstacles faced and we are all gearing up fast now for re-opening and surviving a year without income.
“So, we are all looking forward to a good Summer and - with the considerable uncertainty of overseas travel remaining - we hope to ‘make hay’ in what’s being dubbed the ‘Great Staycation Year’.
“I hope this will give a much-needed boost to the region’s tourism industry and so help our Devon attractions bounce back.”
Stuart Line Cruises is resuming service on May 1 with a limited schedule. A full programme is set to return from May 17.
The outdoors of Bicton Park are already open to local members and will be open to the rest of the public from April 12.