Can the power of the local business community overcome the power of the storm?
Scenes like the washing away of 80m of sea wall at Dawlish, resulting in the dramatic sight of train tracks suspended in mid-air, understandably has many business leaders worrying about the impact of the recent bad weather on the South West's tourism industry. It is estimated that UK businesses lost as much as £7.4 million due to the floods of 2012-2013, and the losses associated with this year's flooding are yet to be assessed.
With half term upon us, efforts are being made across the region to let people know that they should still visit the South West.
Visit England has been running a Twitter campaign using the hashtag “#openforbusiness” which has not only been embraced by the local community but also by the Prime Minister who on his recent visit to the South West stated ‘We have to send out the message that Devon and the Westcountry is open for business and tourism and people should be encouraged to come here.’ Cameron has also hinted that there may be funding available for a wider marketing campaign.
Not to be outdone, Visit Cornwall has produced a video featuring celebrity chef Rick Stein to let visitors know that the County is still very much open for business.
As the Met Office announces that this "extreme" weather is easing, it is clear that the physical damage has been done. However, the determination of the local business community should reduce any further losses for the tourism industry and communicate successfully that the SouthWest is #openforbusiness.
Michelmores has a dedicated Leisure and Tourism team, for more information please contact David Richardson at firstname.lastname@example.org