The gay owner of a holiday rental property business in the resort of Torbay has said the local authority should advertise in the LGBT press and win more of the “pink pound.”

Mark Hoyle told the local Herald Express that the area should be rebranded as “Torgay” and follow the example of other resorts such as Brighton and Bournemouth, which both have large gay communities.

He has set up a new website, www.torgay.co.uk, to advertise to the wider gay community.

Torbay is referred to as the “English Riviera,” and is located in a natural harbour in Lyme Bay, midway between Exeter and Plymouth.

The towns of Torquay, Paignton and Brixham are all part of the unitary authority area.

“It was the gay community in Brighton in the late 1970s which led the way with the regeneration of the resort into the success it is today,” Mr Hoyle told the Herald Express.

“Quirky little shops which appeared in the lanes soon led to major investments in the area.

“A united gay community in Bournemouth has had the same effect there too. Why not do the same thing in Torquay?

“We need visitors, the mayor Nick Bye has demanded high spenders and you can’t get much higher spenders than a gay couple with no dependents, good jobs and a high propensity to consume.”

Mr Hoyle said the local authority should take out adverts in the gay press.

“Torbay has a golden opportunity to benefit from a growth in the stay-at-home holidaymakers and overseas visitors taking advantage of the weak pound,” he said.

The Torgay website states: “Oh what a gay bay – a warm welcome awaits you in Torbay.”