Page last updated at 11:31 GMT, Friday, 6 November 2009

Cornwall 'best UK holiday spot'

Cornwall beach
Cornwall boasts more than 300 beaches

Cornwall has been crowned the UK's best holiday destination at a travel-industry awards ceremony.

The county claimed the British Travel Award title from the 2008 winner, the Lake District, following a public vote. It last scooped the award in 2006.

Tourism accounts for 25% of Cornwall's economy and is also the county's largest employer.

About five million people visit the area every year and latest figures show that visitors spent £1.6bn in 2007.

According to VisitCornwall the county has more than 300 beaches and 40% of visitors go to The Eden Project during their stay making it the county's most popular attraction.

Industry and business experts have praised the county for reclaiming the title.

National spotlight

Steve Kessell, of VisitCornwall, said: "Being awarded the title of Best UK Holiday Destination is a fantastic honour for Cornwall.

"Not only does it recognise the hard work of the industry but it also shines the national spotlight on Cornwall.

"The fact that it is based on public opinion makes it even more significant as it comes from those people that count, those that vote with their feet."

Tim Jones, chairman of Devon and Cornwall Business Council, added: "The award very much reflects the incredible amount of hard work that Cornwall has done to improve tourist offerings and to reinvent the way that tourism can be profitable in a recession."

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