Holidays in Cornwall
We are very much in the main season here in Cornwall, the beaches are packed and the streets are full of slow moving tourists looking at the view - murder when you are trying to get to work in the morning! My wife gets very angry when it is so busy, as do many locals, but considering the tourist industry is the largest source of income in the South West, I have a more ambivalent view.
There are many plus points to such an influx of visitors to a relatively small area, the sudden boost to the local economy not being the least important, but the season has become progressively forced into a tight time period year on year. One factor contributing to this has been the new policy for schools to penalise children that take holidays during term time. This has meant that parents will only go away during the six weeks school break, and are not able to take advantage of, perhaps, a short heat wave.
The effect of this reduced season also means ridiculously expensive prices for the two months of holiday, affecting those renting flats greatly.
Having worked in the tourist trade for a long time, I am also aware of the fickle nature of it when it comes to holidays in Cornwall. Advertising is maniacally pushed out at the beginning of the year, before Easter, then pushed throughout the summer, to dwindle and become practically non-existent come autumn. This creates a very unstable work ethic.
Perhaps the answer lies in trying to target markets that do not rely on school holidays and good weather to draw customers. There is so much more in the South West to offer than theme parks. If more were willing to diversify, we may see a far more stable and helpful environment to work in.