Businesses in the English Rivera say that when news broke nationally of the rail line collapse at Dawlish it was as if a light switch went off on bookings. Trade almost entirely dried up as people hearing the news in February decided to have their Easter break away from the South West.
Research carried out by Visit England found the perception was that the South West had been cut off and was a dangerous place to visit.
Bookings for Easter had already begun to slow when images of the flooding in Somerset hit television screens. But when the rail line was washed away it had a dramatic effect.
Tourist firms say trade is coming back and the Summer is on course to be good. Although the Easter weekend coming at the end of the school holidays will be busy, the two weeks leading up to it are being written off by many.
Seth Conway reports:-