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Devon, the holiday home heaven

The overseas holiday industry has been hit hard this year with the financial costs of a trip abroad and often unfavourable exchange rates being a concern for many would-be travellers. Over the recent Easter period, usually a popular time for short breaks abroad, UK holiday destinations such as Devon and Cornwall welcomed a bumper 300,000 visitors who in turn generated some £125 million in tourism revenue according to South West Tourism.

Confidence in the domestic holiday market is high with the chief executive of the British Hospitality Association, Mr Cotton, urging businesses to invest now in additional staff, services and amenities in order to meet the anticipated tourist demand over the coming summer months. Bob Cotton recently commented,

"I have never seen business change so dramatically in the 40 years I've been in the industry which is why it is so important to respond to it. The only way you'll benefit from those changes is by continuing to invest in your people and continue to invest in your product."

This opinion is echoed by the British Holiday & Home Parks Association who suggest that holiday park accommodation (which includes caravan holiday homes, tents, touring caravans, motorhomes, chalets and timber lodges and accounts for some 20.5 million trips every year) could comprise a higher proportion of holiday bed-nights spent in the UK if demand was able to be fulfilled at all times.

Holiday parks have developed considerably since their creation in the 1950's; no longer 'Hi-Di-Hi' in style, today's 4000 holiday parks offer a variety of high quality accommodation in sought after locations with on site amenities and a host of activities for all the family to enjoy. Devon is a hotspot for holiday parks with around 190 generating an annual tourism spend of about £255 million. Mullacott Park is an example of a log cabin 4* holiday park located in North Devon, between the coastal villages of Ilfracombe & Woolacombe. Woolacombe village boasts an award winning beach ideal for sunbathers and surfers whilst Ilfracombe embraces the traditional charm of a working harbour with a variety of restaurants on offer. There is an abundance of activities in close proximity of Mullacott Park from walking to riding, shooting, fishing, golf, cycling as well as the famous Tarka Trail within easy access.

Steve Worboys, MD of second home specialists, Experience International, comments, "Over the past few decades we have seen the demand for the ownership of second holiday homes increase dramatically with overseas locations such as Spain and France attracting buyers due to affordability. Today however it is now possible to purchase a cost effective second property here in the UK in beautiful locations such as North Devon. Buyers can take advantage of the familiar buying process, finance being available, guaranteed rental returns and ease of accessibility. Lodge style homes really are ideal for couples or families, short breaks or long term holidays."