Inspiring Coast & Country initiative aims to make East Devon a sustainable tourism leader

East Devon's captivating countryside and stunning coastline have been attracting visitors to the area for years. A groundbreaking collaboration is now working together to ensure that the region's beauty can be maintained and cherished for generations to come. Coast & Country is a visionary tourism initiative uniting five charming towns in East Devon: Sidmouth, Budleigh Salterton, Honiton, Seaton and Ottery St. Mary.

Collaborating with local businesses, the group seeks to create a sustainable blueprint for the future through empowering the community. Local enterprises that are already at the forefront of embracing sustainable and considerate practices, have been appointed as Changemaker Champions. These Changemaker Champions will be helping to mentor other businesses through sharing best practice, encouraging others to act more sustainably. The project ethos is that by all of us making small changes, together we can make a big difference. 

Focusing on environmental support, accessibility and inclusivity, as well as community stewardship, the aim is to ensure that the rewards of tourism are shared by both residents and visitors alike — while actively caring for the area's unique environment.

Statement from Coast and Country Co-Chairs Cllr Hilary Nelson, Sidmouth Town Council and Louise Cole: “Through this project we are actively redefining tourism in our area - developing a collaborative model shaped by community and local businesses together to make sure our amazing destination is sustained socially, environmentally and economically. The advantages of collaborative working to create a shared vision and increase our reach whilst making sure that  East Devon drives forward a sustainable model of tourism is a powerful approach.”

These Changemaker Champions include some of the most prominent companies in the area, such as The Donkey Sanctuary, Sidmouth Hotels & Inn, Oakdown Holiday Park, Crane & Kind and many more. From promoting biodiversity through rewilding, harnessing renewable energy, reducing packaging and plastics, to supporting local producers and ensuring that the beauty of the region is accessible to all, Changemaker Champions are passionate about creating a sustainable future for generations to come.

Coast & Country is an exciting venture for local businesses to be a part of and includes a range of benefits including visibility on the sustainability pages of the newly launched tourism websites for Sidmouth, Budleigh Salterton, Seaton, Honiton, and Ottery St. Mary. Working with our experienced delivery partner Ignyte Ltd these websites build upon the proven success of Visit Sidmouth, which garnered over an impressive 1.5 million page views in 2022.

The initiative has been made possible by the Innovation and Resilience Fund of the East Devon District Council and is being guided by the Tourism Recovery & Resilience Framework from the globally successful — The Travel Foundation.  Discover more about how Sidmouth is part of a worldwide sustainable travel movement here.

Coast & Country is carving an inspired path toward a sustainable and vibrant future for East Devon and one that other areas of the country may aspire to in the future. By collaborating, learning, and leading — these five towns are taking strides to make their region the ultimate year-round tourist destination in Devon.

For more information about Coast & Country and how to become a Changemaker Champion please visit Please contact project Co-Chairs Cllr Hilary Nelson or Louise Cole if you are a town or village wishing to join the Coast and Country family.