On this day in 2009, 29th April, Visit South Devon was officially born. To celebrate this important milestone we’re looking back at the history of the company and giving you an insight into how we’ve become the company we are today.

How We Started

Visit South Devon was originally formed by the need of Teignbridge and South Hams District Councils to help visitors to the region find the information they needed to enjoy the county at its best. But also to promote South Devon to potential visitors who’ve never thought to explore what we have to offer.    

From that need Visit South Devon was born and the company was incorporated as a Community Interest Company (CIC) on the 19th April 2009. As a not for profit, Community Interest Company, we promote the region to national and international markets for the benefit of local businesses and the tourism economy.

With the forming of the company a website, visitor literature, brand and logo were created. 

The Visit South Devon website is the official guide to the region providing information on places to visit, events, accommodation, attractions, places to eat & much more.

The aim of Visit South Devon is to show you, the visitor, all the great reasons to visit this wonderful county and ensure you have the best holiday, short break or day trip possible.

A New Website

In early 2015 we launched our first new website since the company was founded in 2009. In recent years the rise of smart phones and tablets were leading the way towards responsive sites, which would react and change configuration depending on the screen size of the viewer. We also wanted to showcase the wonderful range of images we had of the region so launched the 2nd incarnation of the Visit South Devon website.

As well as utilising responsive technology, housing larger images and incorporating many improved features, the new site had an improved layout and feel making it easier for visitors to navigate and find the information they were after. 

Visit South Devon Got Bigger

In December 2016 Visit South Devon officially merged with the Heart of Devon Tourism Company. This merger meant that the Visit South Devon website now covered the whole of the southern part of Devon, covering from Plymouth to the Dorset border and inland to north of Tiverton and across Dartmoor.

As part of the merger, the content on the site was extended to cover the towns, villages, coast, countryside, attractions, accommodation providers and food & drink businesses of East and Mid Devon.

The 2017 South Devon Visitors Guide was also expanded to contain pages on all the main towns and information for the extended area. In 2017 we printed and distributed 80,000 copies of the visitor guide which helped groups, families and couples make the most of their South Devon holiday.       

New Logo and Colour Scheme

As part of the 2016 merger and to celebrate and welcome the new expanded area we had a rebrand. We consulted with local businesses, visitors to the area and stakeholders on the current brand and ideas for our future identity. From the consultation the new Visit South Devon logo and colour palette were born.  

The new logo takes its shape from the area we love and want to share with you, the point at the bottom representing Start Point, to the left the coastline towards Plymouth and the curve to the right signifying the sweeping coastline of Start Bay towards Seaton, and reaching inland across the undulating hills. 

The new colour scheme takes its inspiration from the original Visit South Devon logo and colours, but uses brighter, bolder tones and we now have 6 wonderful colours to play with across the website, guide and social media.

And if you’re wondering why these colours were picked to represent this part of the region here’s a quick overview.

Blue and Teal; representing the sky and sea, we wouldn’t be able to promote the wonders this region offers within these in our colour palette.

Dark and Light Green; With three Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, a National Park and miles of rolling countryside, greenery in South Devon can be found everywhere you look. 

Red; denotes the stunning rugged red cliffs which can be found along the coast. 

Yellow; the South Devon coast is sprinkled with beaches and coves, the yellow in our colour scheme symbolizes this important part of Devon.  

Discover Dartmouth

2016 turned out to be a very busy year indeed for Visit South Devon, as well as the merger with The Heart of Devon and introducing a new brand, we also took over the Discover Dartmouth website and online promotion of the town.

In the autumn of 2016 we launched a new fully responsive website which was the same style as the recently launched Visit South Devon website and offered many of the same great features and functionality.      

Last year the site received over 188,000 visitors and 480,000 page views from visitors exploring what this coastal gem has to offer and the Discover Dartmouth social media accounts now have over 12,500 followers.   

A Bespoke Website

With the new branding and expanded area, we felt it was time to update the website to reflect this. In March 2018 after months of planning, designing and hard work, we launched our brand new bespoke website.

The latest incarnation of the site was designed to meet the needs of the South Devon visitor, making sure we incorporated all your favourite pages, whilst showcasing spectacular images of the region. The new site was based around the new logo and colour scheme while combining the most up to date functionality. With the launch of the new site we added videos to the homepage, social media integration for the Visit South Devon feeds as well as businesses and implemented a clearer more user friendly design.    

Helping More People Plan Their Breaks Than Ever Before  

In the first year of Visit South Devon the website saw 168,000 people visit the site, during 2018 the site received over 1.04 million visits, a staggering 521% increase, and traffic is still continuing to grow. These visitors viewed over 2.77 million pages ranging from events, accommodation, attractions and restaurants to our blog posts and competitions.   

It’s not just the website which is seeing an increase in views, for 2019 we printed 100,000 copies, more than ever before, of our 2019 South Devon Visitor Guide. The guide is also available online in a PDF version where many more readers can view it. To order your free copy of the guide or view it online, please click here.   

With the global growth and introduction of many social media channels we have seen our social media presence grow. We now connect to over 42,500 of you on a range of channels keeping you updated with events, news, competitions, blog posts and stunning images of the region.

In the last few months we’ve also taken over the Visit East Devon Instagram account sharing images of this dramatic area on a dedicated account.

To The Next 10 Years

We would like to thank everyone who has visited South Devon and supported us in the last 10 years, helping to make us the informative and successful company we are today. We’re looking forward to what the next 10 years bring and hope that you will join us on the journey.  

Head over to our Instagram here to view breath-taking images of this beautiful part of the UK. Don’t forget to hit follow and tag us in your photos using @visitsouthdevon or #southdevon – we might even feature your photo on our feed!




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