Cornwall tourism boss criticises ‘bloody tourists’ who ‘don’t want to be there’

The head of Cornwall’s tourist board has caused controversy after slamming “bloody tourists ” in the region.

Malcom Bell, who is chief executive of Visit Cornwall, made the comments about visitors to England’s southwest coast over the last two years.

He claimed that many holidaymakers who headed to beach Cornwall during the pandemic only did so because they were unable to fly abroad.

READ MORE: Cornwall and Devon top list of most desired locations for autumn getaway

Many thousands of British tourists flocked to Cornwall which is famous for its sunny weather, beaches, surfing and holiday homes, when other countries closed their borders against Covid-19.

Malcom made the statement that such “bloody tourists” actually “didn’t want to be there” in a discussion with Cornwall Live.

He noted: "In my mind, visitors fall into five unofficial categories – at one level you have friends, then you have guests, then you have tourists, then you have bloody tourists, then you have ****ing emmets. You can quote me on that.

"The challenge we have is to get the friends, guests and tourists, who get us.

“Then try and convert the bloody tourists, but forget the awkward people who are 'Why haven't you got this?', 'Why haven't you got that?' It's about targeting the right people at the right time of year."

Malcom continued: "In the 1970s people were in Cornwall because they couldn't afford a proper holiday and there were a lot of chips on shoulders, and we felt that again in those two years.

“It had come back around. 25 years ago it was 'the West country', 15 years ago it was 'Devon and Cornwall' and now 'Cornwall' is the Waitrose and Devon is the Sainsbury's.

“We made ourselves the place to be, but half the country went abroad.

“Once you stopped them going abroad, we ended up with people here who didn't want to be here.”

The tourism boss noted: “Now we have to tackle the problems of success. That's why we have to learn from those two years."

The chief executive will step down from his post in December but will work with the board as a consultant working on sustainable tourism plans for the region.

He told CornwallLive: "I'm finishing off a strategy and trying to get Cornwall Council to endorse it, which says that the new direction in tourism should be driven firstly by what the people of Cornwall want, the next thing is improving the jobs and career prospects, and it's got to be sustainable and regenerative and not damaging.

“Down here, most people want to look after Cornwall."


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