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"Record Summer Season" - June Beach Hut Article

Summer is approaching and with it full “unlocking”, and if the hotel bookings are anything to go by, Torbay is about to get busy.

It’s not a surprising forecast perhaps; despite lockdown meaning a break from work for furloughed employees and closed businesses, it’s certainly not been a holiday, and with international travel remaining complex, going abroad is all but off the cards. So, the “staycation” has found itself amongst holiday royalty, and the English Riviera, according to Trip Advisor, is expected to be crowned King of the UK resorts.

The anticipation of this will be music to the ears of the hospitality and tourism community; overflowing cafés, fully booked boat tours and not an unreserved restaurant table in sight between now and the New Year.

We ourselves are planning for an extended tourist season, with an earlier, longer English Riviera Summer Open Exhibition launching next month, a show-stealing Devon Open Studios programme which we’re bringing to Torbay, and bursary shows with acclaimed South West artists Rod Ashman and Mike Tingle to name but a few of our offers for content hungry visitors.

But in the same breath, I doubt I’m the only one who sees the headline “Record Summer Season” and takes a trepidatious gulp. Even in a normal year, the town centres can feel overwhelmingly busy, and the peace and serenity of our Geopark home can feel a little distant when every cove from Torquay to Brixham is blanketed in beach towels.

For us, and I’m sure this is the same for many other businesses, it’s also the knowledge that whilst everyone else is getting set for a holiday, having been closed for most of the year so far, the luxury of getting away just isn’t an option, with every day we can open being vital to recovery from over a year of disruption.

This isn’t a complaint - we’re excited for Torbay to hopefully have a successful year ahead - but more a reminder that the tourist season is something that local businesses and residents will have to endure as much as they will hopefully reap the benefits from, and that this marathon is something we can bear together. It’s great seeing tourists in our venues, but its infinitely better meeting locals and we hope that you’ll brave the crowds and continue to join us throughout this undoubtedly busy period.

We’re hoping to bring some specific offers only to local residents over the coming months so do keep an eye out, and if there’s anything in particular you’d like to see from us to make the tourist season a little more bearable, we’d love to hear from you. As always, for our upcoming exhibitions, head to



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