IT IS, on the face of it, an astonishing statement - a tourism chief declaring that he wants tourists to go somewhere else.

Somewhere else in his own county, he stresses, though it nevertheless seems an odd strategy.

But then, Malcolm Bell has a problem.

As chief executive of Visit Cornwall, it is his job to bring in visitors to that part of Britain, and - aided by the weather and a certain television period drama - he has been very successful.

This summer, there has been a 20 per cent increase to date on the average 4.5 million folk who go to Cornwall.

The trouble for Mr Bell is that they have been making a beeline for all places Poldark-related, notably Kynance Cove and Porthcurno.

These are deep inside Cornwall. And of course, Cornwall being where it is, there is nowhere one can go once one is in deepest Cornwall - short of toppling off Land’s End - unless one turns around.

Mr Bell has not quite been advocating that this week. While one of his quotes to a BBC interviewer ran thus - “Nobody wants to see this sort of mass tourism affecting the area, affecting the tourist experience and clogging the roads” - he advocated instead a “redistribution” of tourists to others of the 400 beaches it boasts along its coastline.

Basically, Mr Bell welcomes them all, but wants too, to spread them out a bit.

I’m not sure however, that the hordes who head for Poldark Country can all be having such a good time of it - struggling with limited parking spaces, queuing at cafes, pubs, and the like, sitting or standing cheek by jowl with lots of other sweating worshippers at the altar of a fictional historical character.

It seems crazy when the beaches and towns of west Wales - popular as they are - can still offer a much less stressful experience.

May I respectfully suggest that those viewing a holiday in Cornwall with trepidation head for west Wales instead?

There is none of that Poldark rubbish there.

And if you're still pining for Cornwall, you can gaze out to sea and picture its far shores in your mind.