A WATERPARK in Torbay welcomed a record-breaking number of visitors this summer.
Splashdown Quaywest, in Paignton, had its busiest ever summer season as it had more than 60,000 visitors between May and September.
This is an increase of 42 per cent on the same period last year, when the country's largest outdoor waterpark suffered from the combined effects of the turbulent weather and England's glorious sporting summer.
But this year's visitor numbers are also up 19 per cent on the same period in 2011 and 50 per cent on 2009, the first summer that Quaywest was officially opened under the current management, Splashdown Waterparks.
Jackie Richmond, group marketing manager for Splashdown Waterparks, said: "This has been a bumper year for us. We are, of course, affected by the weather, and this year in a very positive way, but we have also benefited from the continuing 'staycation' trend and also the massive improvement in the marketing of the English Riviera as a holiday destination by the English Riviera Tourism Company, since we've been operating down here. We're very pleased with this year."
Jon Lees, operations manager at Splashdown Quaywest, added: "There has been a real drive this year to focus on the visitor experience. This year we've launched a dance party night and a seasonal evening restaurant offer. We want to give families a unique, enjoyable and memorable experience when visiting us."
Richard Cuming, chairman of the English Riviera Attractions Partnership, said he was "really pleased" to hear that one of the partnership's members had a record number of visitors this summer.
Mr Cuming, who is also a partner at Bygones in Torquay and chairman of the English Riviera and South Devon Tourism and Hospitality Awards 2013, said: "The company have continued to invest and evolve their business and are an active and valued ERAP attraction working to encourage new visitors into the area.
"We are fortunate to have such a diverse range of attractions in the Bay and their success reflects the important work that the English Riviera Tourism Company is doing to promote the English Riviera."
The waterpark has now closed for the winter and is undergoing an intensive maintenance period ahead of the 2014 season. It will reopen next Easter.