The economic power of surfing in South West England

February 17, 2012 | Surfing
North Devon: surfing till dark | Photo: North Devon Surf School

The European surfing regions of North Devon (England), Donegal (Ireland), and West Brittany (France) have developed an innovative project of surf economics evaluation.

The "Trisurf" study reached relevant conclusions that may be applied to many world coastal cities, villages, and towns.

The North Devon report concludes that each surfer spends £1,240 annually, in the region. It was established that there are approximately 42,000 people who surf in northern Devon, each year.

This gives a total annual economic value of surfing in northern Devon of £52.1 million, which means 72 percent of the total northern Devon coastal tourism economy.

In terms of employment, this would be 1,470 jobs through direct and induced effects.

Surf researchers have also identified a large number of business opportunities, in order to expand the surfing market.

Tourist accommodation, surf-shops, surf events, restaurants, and surf-related craft can be boosted by surf growth in the region.

Surfing therefore should not be ignored as a marginal activity but given the regard worthy of an important driver of the local tourism economy and in turn the wider economy.

The young people responding to the school survey exhibited a very positive attitude to surfing and have made some practical suggestions as to how they could be supported in achieving their surfing-related aspirations, particularly through supporting surfing in schools and more surf-related events. has developed a Surf Industry Research report which analyzes the latest trends in the wave riding industry, as well as the continental, national and regional origin of surfers.

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