Page last updated at 19:47 GMT, Tuesday, 9 June 2009 20:47 UK

Tourism boss warns of poor summer


Optimism over the 2009 summer for the region's tourist industry may be misplaced

A stern warning has been issued about the future of tourism in the West.

In a new booklet, Malcolm Bell, Director of South West Tourism, says optimism the 2009 summer will be a bumper year may be misplaced.

Assumptions a good Sterling/Euro exchange rate would favour the region may not materialise, he said.

Mr Bell predicts rising unemployment and ongoing economic uncertainty could see visitor numbers drop between three and eight per cent.

He said: "Even if we do get reasonable numbers of displaced visitors, they may just replace losses from loyal customers who cannot visit due to reduced incomes from savings, or lower earnings because they have lost their jobs."

South West Tourism covers Bath, Bristol, Bournemouth and Poole, Cornwall and Scilly Isles, Devon, Dorset, Somerset, Gloucestershire and Wiltshire.

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