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Tourism in Devon and Cornwall slumping as parents face threat of fines if they take their children out of school during term

Tourism is down during term time across Devon and Cornwall

Tourism businesses in the region say their bookings have been badly affected by stricter rules about taking children out of school for holidays.

A new survey shows that bookings in Devon and Cornwall have slumped by up to 10%, as parents shun term-time breaks because they fear being fined if they take their children out of school.

Business which rely on tourism say they now have just 10 weeks a year in which to maximise their income. While Easter, Summer and half-term breaks are still popular, families are no longer visiting during term time.

Research just published found that in Cornwall last Spring the number of families holidaying fell from 31% to 16% after the threat of fines was introduced. Visit Cornwall says it would normally only see one or two per cent difference year on year

September sunshine boosts tourism bookings

St Michael's Mount at Marazion in Cornwall - one of the West Country's most popular tourist attractions Credit: ITV News

The warm September sunshine is providing a late season boost to the region's tourism industry.

Some hoteliers are reporting a 30% increase in bookings compared to last year. Many in the industry are hoping the warm weather will help make up for a disappointing start to the year.

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Job fears for the South West

Prospects look gloomy for the West Country's job seekers Credit: PA

Employers across every region of the country are expecting to take on more people over the next three months, except in the South West.

The figures come from the recruitment group Manpower UK.

It says heavy reliance on tourism and a jobs boom in recent years means growth in the South West has ground to a halt.

Ever tried to shift a tonne of water?

The RNLI has begun its "Respect the Water" campaign in Newquay. 32 lives were lost on the south west coastline last year and it wants beach-goers and surfers to take more care.

The RNLI shows the sheer power of the rip currents by challenging the ITV team (and friends) to move a tonne of water Credit: ITV News/James Chapman

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Tourism industry wants staggered school holidays

Tourism bosses want the government to stagger school holidays across the UK. Credit: Anthony Devlin/PA Wire

A campaign to stagger school holidays across the country in order to ease pressure on the tourism industry is growing.

Owners of holiday accommodation say demand during the peak weeks can lead to many visitors being disappointed by a lack of choice.

Tourism leaders want the government to adopt a co-ordinated approach to scheduling holiday times.

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