New year 'to bring boost to trade in Cornwall'

An increase in trade is anticipated in Cornwall ahead of New Year's Eve celebrations, a tourism body has said.

Visit Cornwall said new year had become a busier time for family holidays compared to Christmas.

Malcolm Bell said: "That's an important boost of money in the middle of the lower season for tourism."

He added that 2012 had been a "rollercoaster" year for trade, but in 2013 it was hoped the county would benefit from staycations.

Mr Bell said: "Normally in the South West we don't tend to celebrate new year it tends to be Christmas, but we have seen this shift.

'Welcome challenge'

"A lot of people are coming down and staying in the hotels, an awful lot of families are coming together and staying in cottages.

"It's a challenge, but it's actually a very welcome challenge because in these difficult times you want to make revenue where you can."

Looe, which is traditionally a popular place for celebrations, suffered the effects of the weather with landslides, floods and road closures in the past few weeks.

Hannafore Point Hotel in Looe lost business after a landslide blocked the access road to it.

Owner Edward Bence, who also has a hotel in Brixham, said: "We're pretty busy for New Year's Eve, our hotels are full.

"Generally it's a been a difficult year, our problems came around about April time and the problems of the weather came and coincided with that, coupled with the state of the economy and the Olympics there definitely seemed to be fewer people around."

Mr Bell added that 2012 had "started off really well" but had "flattened" with the Diamond Jubilee, Olympics and weather although September and October had picked up.

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