SOME local businesses travel farther than others in their quest to bring new customers and guests to Torbay. Paul Hawthorne, principal of the Devon School of English in Paignton, completed a 24-hour round trip of flights to take the English Riviera to Tapei, Taiwan, to consolidate the school’s success in 2017 in that country.
Mr Hawthorne said: “Thanks to a trip to Tapei in early 2017, we were fortunate to receive a group of 25 senior students for four weeks that came to Paignton in September last year.
“They all stayed with our local Paignton host families, and did a comprehensive programme of activities in the region, ranging from trips to Bath and Stonehenge, to trips on the steam train to Dartmouth and tours of local country pubs near Paignton.
“On the basis of the success of that programme, I was invited out in January to take part in three national radio shows to speak about the Devon School and the what makes our region so special.
“I was very impressed by the warmth of the welcome I received, and by the hugely positive feedback from September’s students about how much they had loved their lessons and their English hosts –many have struck up what I am sure will be life-long friendships.
“Our initial success will lead to three more senior groups this year in May, June and September, each time accompanied by a presenter from CSBC radio in Tapei.
“Developing new markets is key to every sector in the Bay, and ours is no exception. We are very proud of our new Taiwanese guests, and trust this is a connection that will last long into the future.”