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14.11.05
Investment boosts quality tourism

The Cornwall Tourism Awards, organised by VisitCornwall, are growing every year and with the increase in nominations comes a noticeable increase in quality.

Objective One investment has helped to raise the game in Cornwall's tourism industry by making advice, hard cash and new, smarter ways of working available. At the 2004 Cornwall Tourism awards the majority of the winners had had some form of Objective One investment.

Many of these had received support via actnow, the public/private partnership involving British Telecom that has meant 100 per cent of Cornwall now has high speed broadband coverage. Businesses taking up the actnow package are also taught how to turn this technology to their economic advantage. Others have received help via Objective One gateway funds such as Taste of the West, which helps to promote the region's food and drink producers; Organic South West; Cartwheel, which supports farm-based tourism, CoaST (Cornwall Sustainable Tourism Project), which supports environmentally friendly initiatives; Business Link and SWIG (South West Investment Group).

Another fund, HONEY (Hotels of Newquay Enhance Yourselves) was so successful in generating extra income for accommodation providers in the Newquay area that a second project – honey2cornwall – has been rolled out across Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly. honey2cornwall offers expert advice, investment and networking opportunities.

Carleen Kelemen, Director of the Objective One Partnership, said: "Tourism is benefiting greatly from Objective One investment which is helping accommodation providers improve their standards and restaurants source top quality local produce. The marketing support also means that word is spreading across the world that Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly are a top visitor destination.

"We have also found that this new confidence in the sector has meant that families who have had tourism businesses in the region for generations have recently invested millions of pounds in business expansion. These businesses have not always used Objective One investment but recognise that the Programme is adding quality to the industry and helping to attract more visitors."

Amanda and Martin Barlow own the four star Budock Vean Hotel, near Mawnan Smith, which has been winner of the Cornwall Tourism Awards Hotel of the Year category for the last three years. The hotel is also promoting a sustainable environmental strategy and is an ambassador for CoaST. Amanda said: "As far as we are concerned we are still benefiting from the changed perception which the public have of Cornwall which is of high quality produce and venues. We have found that our occupancy levels have increased year on year. Our 2005 figures show that our overall occupancy is up on 2004, which was our best year to date and we see no reason for this to change. We have found that guests coming to Cornwall are discerning and the county is able to offer incoming tourists the opportunity of excellence and beautiful, unspoilt countryside and coastline along with some of the best food and drink in the UK - without the hassle of flights overseas."

As a result of the increasing business and to affirm the Barlows' commitment to Cornwall, Budock Vean Hotel Ltd bought the Polurrian Hotel in Mullion in March 2005. One of Martin Barlow's brothers, Chris, is overseeing the development and refurbishment of this project. A second brother, Jim Barlow, owns the 42-bedroom Treglos Hotel, at Constantine Bay, near Padstow and has invested a large amount of money into upgrading it to a four star rating and has also purchased a golf course at Mawgan Porth.

Five Degrees West, which is in Falmouth and managed by St Austell Brewery, won last year's Cornwall Tourism Pub of the Year award. James Staughton, managing director of St Austell Brewery, said: "There is no doubt that through training and improved customer service standards, Cornwall's food and drink industry is enjoying unprecedented recognition. Objective One has played an active part in enabling businesses to meet the challenges of today's highly competitive marketplace."

Deborah Smith of VisitCornwall added: "The Cornwall Tourism Awards are a wonderful opportunity for us to reward those businesses which have made significant investment, both in terms of time and money, in improving the quality of what they offer their visitors. It's also really encouraging to see that many of these winners have also been able to benefit from Objective One investment."

For further information please contact Clare Morgan of the Objective One Communications Team on 01872 223439 or email: cmorgan@cornwall.gov.uk.

The Objective One Programme for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly has invested in the tourism sector through the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), the European Agriculture Guidance and Guarantee Fund (EAGGF) and the European Social Fund (ESF).

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Editor's notes:

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Clare Morgan
Media Relations Manager
Objective One Partnership Office
Castle House
Pydar Street
Truro TR1 2UD
Mobile: 07973 813647
Telephone: 01872 223439

cmorgan@cornwall.gov.uk

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