LATEST figures show the importance of tourism to the local and national economy, it is claimed.
Statistics from the most recent Labour Force Survey show total employment is up 820,000 over 2013 — of which 120,000 jobs are attributable to the UK tourism industry.
They also showed 39 per cent of jobs in tourism go to people under the age of 30, which the Tourism Alliance say is one of the leading factors in a 20 per cent reduction in youth unemployment.
Carolyn Custerson, chief executive of the English Riviera Tourism Company which is a facing a potential cut to zero in Torbay Council subsidies, said the figures continue to show the reliance in the Bay on tourism.
She said: "The fact is tourism locally is driving our economy and now is not the time to take the tourism budget to zero.
"We are showing significant growth and over the past three years Torbay has seen a steady increase over three consistent years in tourism volume and value."
She added 41 per cent of the population of Torbay rely on either tourism or retail for their employment, the highest proportion of figures in the country.
A report from Visit Devon earlier this month also showed a holiday in Devon provides five times better value for money than a holiday in the USA.
Mrs Custerson said: "What is abundantly clear is that for a typical family, booking their summer holiday outside term-time, Devon is a great option coming in far cheaper than holidays in Spain, Turkey or America."
The tourism company cuts row heats up see pages 12 and 13.