A Welcome Easter Boost for the English Riviera |Devo's Top Attractions |

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After one of the wettest Marches on record the sun came out for Easter Weekend and the English Riviera  got a welcome Easter Boost. With tens of thousands of visitors out enjoying all that the resort has to offer. It was truly great to see the resort busy everywhere including our beaches with lots of smiling visitors and residents. Special Easter events took place at many of our attractions including Babbacombe Model Village, Kents Cavern, Occombe Farm, and Paignton Zoo. Paignton Harbour’s first craft fair of the year buzzed with visitors and it has been fantastic to see our waterside bars and restaurants so busy with many reporting that trade is up 10% on Easter 2022. Hopefully we are now really seeing true consumer confidence fully return and things starting to move in the right direction.

‘’Just four weeks ago the forecast for the Easter Holiday looked so different and there was much concern,” said Carolyn Custerson, Chief Executive of the ERBID Company. “But we are delighted to see our £100k investment in a new ‘Ready for the Riviera’ national marketing campaign has had a positive impact in helping drive late bookings. We made the right decision to promote later and extend the campaign across Birmingham right up to the Easter Holidays. Post COVID the market place has changed and people are booking later than ever before. For businesses that is nerve racking.’’

Businesses across the resort have been asked by the ERBID Company to share their feedback on the Easter Weekend and here is some of what they had to say:

‘’We never expect to rely on Easter trade because it’s so vulnerable to the weather but this Easter Weekend did perform better that we thought and was busier than recent years and our Coasteering Courses are full this week.’’ Reach Outdoors, Goodrington

‘’We have had a very busy weekend. February, March and the Easter Holidays have all been quite a lot better that I had anticipated.’’ Guardhouse Café, Berry Head

‘’Loads of people about and in good spirits and Easter Weekend has been on par if not a little better than last Easter. Our new terrace extension overlooking the sea is nearly complete.’’ Venus Café, Broadsands

‘’ We were full, and this was so much better than we were expecting just 4 weeks ago with lots of families from Birmingham, Wales and London. All of our guests enjoyed eating out and going to the attractions and loving the English Riviera.’’ Pilgrims Rest Cottages, Torquay

‘’It’s been an excellent Walking weekend with a dramatic increase in international touring guests compared to last Easter including from Switzerland and Lisbon.’’ English Riviera Walking Tours

‘’Easter Weekend has been good, boosted by the good weather.’’ Spinning Wheel, Paignton

‘Better than expected with lots of large family groups visiting and secondary spend has been strong. From our advanced online bookings we are expecting the rest of the Easter School Holidays to be strong also ’’ Kents Cavern, Torquay

‘’This Easter Weekend is one of the busiest we have had in 10 years.’’ Model Village, Babbacombe

‘Absolutely amazing, we have been packed for the weekend although visitors this year are staying for shorter stays.’’ Beverley Holidays, Paignton

‘’We were busy but not full for the whole weekend with guests staying for shorter stays. There were accommodation vacancies on Booking.Com ’’ The 25, Torquay

But we need to finish with a word of caution, obviously increased numbers are a relief but businesses are still struggling with a dramatic increase in costs in terms of staffing, wholesale supplies and energy costs. All of these extra costs along with decreased consumer spend will mean profitability will be jeopardised, and future investment is reliant on profits. In a recent survey 96% of businesses said they remain concerned about the future.

And our visitors are struggling too. Cost of living remains high, putting continued pressure on households and income available for leisure spend and difficult choices having to be made, but taking our annual breaks and holidays remain important to consumers and we will keep promoting the English Riviera brand as strongly as we can and we remain very positive about the remainder of 2023.

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