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Last Updated: Monday, 8 March, 2004, 06:15 GMT
Call to 'deter' Cornish tourists
A little girl on holiday on a beach
Resorts are encouraged to cut numbers by 10% at peak times
Tourism leaders are planning to deter visitors from the South West during peak times in busy resorts.

But the radical reversal of policy is actually part of a plan to bring more money into the region.

A new approach recommended by South West Tourism and the Regional Development Agency says tourism should aim for 40% more off-season business.

It suggests the most popular resorts should try to drive numbers down by 10% in the peak season.

Upmarket accommodation

It says the moves would help the industry in the South West become more upmarket.

Malcolm Bell, from South West Tourism, said the plan would boost profitability and be popular with residents.

He said: "If it's a more quality experience, people will pay more and the profits will be there with people paying a premium price."

It would be hard for holiday resorts to literally discourage people from visiting.

But one idea put forward is for the planning system to encourage hotel developments that sweep away old-style accommodation based on lots of little units.

The South West has to be synonymous with quality tourism
James Harper, Regional Development Agency
Instead, the "pile-it-high, sell-it-cheap" accommodation would be replaced with upmarket accommodation for fewer people - such as celebrity chef Rick Stein's plans for a new 3m, 42-bedroom hotel in Newquay.

Chris Rowley, who is selling the Fistral Beach Hotel, said more similar developments were needed in the Cornish seaside town.

"People are being put off by the reputation of Newquay in terms of the stag and hen nights, and all the shenanigans that went on last summer.

"It ruined trade in the autumn and things have got to change dramatically," he said.

"We need a concerted effort to change the clientele back to how they were a few years ago."

James Harper, of the Regional Development Agency, said: "The South West has to be synonymous with quality tourism.

"We want to be developing unique experiences that people want to come to the South West for and that will enable people in the industry to charge that premium."

Region is top holiday spot
14 Jan 04  |  England

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