South West seeks to dispel 'boozy' image

South West England's tourism body is planning a PR drive to attract 'more sophisticated' visitors after Newquay's 'booze and party' culture was slammed in the media.

South West Tourism has held pitches this week for an £80,000 account. The winning agency will promote experience-based holidays such as walking, food and drink tourism, golf and heritage tours. The campaign will target AB1 visitors from the South East, Midlands and London.

The brief states the region is currently perceived as a destination for 'traditional beach holidays' during July and August. 'We need to continue to develop new, richer and more sophisticated groups who will take multiple breaks outside the peak period as well as the main season,' it says.

The tourism board particularly wants to build the profile of inland areas such as Dartmoor, the Cotswolds, Stonehenge, north Dorset, south Somerset and Bodmin Moor.

Newquay hit the headlines in recent weeks after a 16-year-old boy fell to his death from cliffs above the beach, the second teenager to die there in a week. His parents criticised the town's lax attitude to underage drinking after learning the boy and his friends had been served alcohol in a pub two hours before he died.

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