The golden Thread that links tourism gems

The South West Coast Path is fast becoming known as a vital link between South West businesses, particularly those in the tourism sector and the coastal towns and villages through which it travels. Every year, it attracts nearly 9 million outside visitors who come to walk this world class route, each of whom contributes to a total spend of £436m that can be directly attributed to the Coast Path. This is a staggering statistic that doesn’t include the everyday walkers such as dog owners and local residents, who may frequent the various places to eat, sleep and drink on a more regular basis.  

Alistair Handyside, Chairman of the South West Tourism Alliance says the Coast Path is… ; “regularly described as the region’s best asset, that’s not only great for visitors, but is equally important to all that live near it”, adding that it’s “critical and integral to the visitor economies of Cornwall, Devon, Dorset and Somerset”. 

With 630 miles of continuous coastal walking, from Minehead on the edge of Exmoor to the shores of Poole Harbour in Dorset, thousands of businesses benefit from the access to the coastline that the Coast Path provides for free. But it costs at least £1,000 to maintain just 1 mile and it needs help.  

Businesses can show their support for the Path and the income it generates for the local economy, by becoming a Business Member. Available to businesses large and small, there are a number of benefits, from online listings alongside relevant walks, to being part of the marketing and promotion of the National Trail, which receives around 1 million annual visits to its website. Business Members automatically become individual members and receive an Annual Guide to the Coast Path, monthly e-newsletters and a bi-annual printed newsletter. 

Ken Carter, Vice Chairman of the Association says; 

“Everyone has their own reasons for loving the South West Coast Path – it really is the thread that brings tourism business together in the region. In supporting our activities, from Path improvements, to event support or advertising online, businesses and individuals can give something back while continuing to benefit at the same time. With the public sector’s declining investment, it is more important than ever that we raise funds to improve the Path for everyone to enjoy.” 

Full details of the benefits for Business Members are listed online, while more bespoke arrangements can be made by contacting the team direct. Please contact Esther Pearson or Sophie James on 01752 896237 or email [email protected] 

If you would like to sign up for the Business e-newsletter to keep up to date with all offers as they become available, click on the sign-up button from the Business Membership page on the website at Go to ‘Love the Path’ from the main menu, then ‘Join’ and ‘Business Membership’.              


For media enquiries please contact Alex Green at the South West Coast Path on 01752 876939 or email [email protected] 



Published on: Nov. 25, 2015