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Torquay Tourism, The History & Torquay Hotels

Article By: ethanjacobs

This article gives a brief history of how Torquay has developed over time into one of the most famous and most visited Tourist destinations in The UK.

Submitted:Feb 10, 2012    Reads: 1    Comments: 0    Likes: 0   

Torquay is world renowned as one of the most popular UK holiday destinations. This is due to its history and in more modern times made famous by the quality of the beaches, scenery and the standard of the hotels in Torquay.
Torquay has always been a favourable place to visit in the past due to its mild year round climate. Going back to 19th Century in Napoleonic times Torquay was used frequently by the Channel Fleet which helped protect England against invasion by Napoleon. The officers families often visited Torquay so that they could be near to their loved ones. Later in the 19th Century Queen Victoria reviewed the entire fleet in Torbay waters. In addition Torquay was also seen as a health resort, the clean air and mild temperatures attracted the wealthy who came to Torquay in the winter to recover from illness.
The population in Torquay swelled massively between the early 1800's and the 1850's. Figures are estimated to show an increase from 838 residents in the early 1800's to a massive increase of 11474 in 1851. Around the 1850's there were roughly 2000 hotel rooms in Torquay available to be booked.
A major reason for this was due to emergence of the railway system. The people of Torquay made a great decision to build a railway station in Torquay as this made the town accessible to anyone who could afford a ticket. A lot of the restraints holding people from reaching Torquay had been lifted with the opening of the rail station in Torre in 1848. This railway station however was some distance to sea and in 1852 the decision was taken to extend Torquay's railway down to the sea. It was initially planned to extend the railway all the way down to the harbour however it was decided that this could lead to Torquay losing its character as a sea side town.
As a result of the railway being opened it brought about a increase in wealth to Torquay and the area really started to thrive. The demand for Torquay hotel rooms boomed and as result many new hotels were built to service the increase in demand.
The first advertising campaign to bring healthy tourists to Torquay started in 1902. Where Torquay had previously mainly accommodated the wealthy or ill the steps were taken to bring in a healthier type of guest. After WW1 the Great Western Rail Company really helped Torquay establish itself as major tourist resort as it succeeded in launching a very effective advertising campaign promoting the town. The resort gained in popularity and in 1938 Torquay recorded its busiest day, the August bank holiday. On this day 20000 visitors arrived at Torquay station which was followed the following day by roughly 50 trains bringing in even more guests to the area.
After WW2 the tourism trade in Torquay has gradually changed. In the same way that technology evolved and helped Torquay become a major Tourist resort it has also opened up the world and made other destinations more accessible. The emergence of low cost airways and a change in approach of how people travel the world has also been a major factor for a change in how long people spend in Torquay when visiting. Most guests when staying in Torquay Hotels now stay between 2-3 days and the area benefits from a lot of weekend breaks. With the world being so much more accessible to us all now and developed to a point where we feel comfortable to visit we are branching out visiting areas that we never thought possible. As the world has changed so has Torquay. The town is now on the rise with large hotel chains coming into the bay, the existing guest houses, B&B's and small hotels having really raised their game and the resort is receiving some wonderful reviews across the internet.


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