Unlocking Tourism Potential

Who we are

The National Coastal Tourism Academy is the first in the UK and has brought together a unique team from across the travel and tourism industry with sound skills to deliver the Academy’s tight business remit. Armed with years of experience in a variety of sectors including hotels, cruising, arts and culture, tourist offices and attractions, alongside academic qualifications and research in tourism strategy and development, the team is well-placed to create ground-breaking new initiatives to change the face of Britain’s coastal tourism industry.

Mike Francis MBE

Mike Francis MBE

Chair NCTA Board

Mike is chair of the NCTA. He is principal of Westbourne Academy School of Language and has served in the education profession for the past 40 years. During this time he has marketed Bournemouth in Europe, the Far East, Middle East, Africa and Latin America. He is a founder chair of the Bournemouth Tourism Management Board, set up in 2006 which includes all sectors of the visitor economy and is responsible for the town’s destination management.

Mark Smith

Mark Smith

Board Member

Mark is a professional marketeer with more than 30 years’ experience in the public and private sector of the travel and tourism industry. Management trained by British Airways, he has worked around the world on new route and hotel development. Mark managed tourism for Winchester City Council, Eastbourne Borough Council and since 2002, Bournemouth Borough Council.  He sits on a number of national boards including Visit England’s Destination Management Forum, the Coastal Strategy Group for Visit England and is Vice-Chair of the Tourism Network South East.

Professor Keith Wilkes

Professor Keith Wilkes

Board Member

Keith is Executive Dean of the Faculty of Management which includes the school of tourism, one of the largest and acclaimed tourism and hospitality faculties in the world, with more than 2,500 undergraduate, 300 postgraduate and 50 PhD students. Keith has held key positions at Bournemouth University for 20 years and is a Fellow of both the Royal Geographical Society and the Tourism Society. He has engaged in research work for a wide range of organisations including the English Tourism Board, Merseyside County Council, Sealink/Wightlink Ferries, Southern Arts and the Isle of Wight Tourist Office. He has played a significant role in the development of tourism education in the UK.

Sara Uzzell

Sara Uzzell

Board Member

Sara and her husband have owned and run two hotels in Bournemouth since 2003, successfully developing a business offering special interest holidays for groups. She currently employs a team of 40 so knows first-hand the excitement and achievement of running a tourism business alongside its challenges and frustrations. 

Sara has spent her career in marketing and business development and has been a member of the Chartered Institute of Marketing for more than 25 years. She worked in the IT and consultancy sector for major international businesses and public sector organisations for 16 years before moving to Bournemouth.
She has embraced the digital marketing opportunity in her own business and is working with a small digital creative agency on a proposition to help SMEs with market segmentation, sales lead generation and database marketing. 
She is a board member of the Dorset Local Enterprise Partnership, a member of the Bournemouth Coastal Business Improvement District (BID) board, committee member of Bournemouth Accommodation and Hotels Association and chair of Bournemouth’s Tourism Marketing Group.

Samantha Richardson

Samantha Richardson

Academy Director

Samantha is the NCTA Director. She has directed the research, visitor experience, training and communications programmes of the Academy since its launch in summer 2013.  Working initially with Bournemouth’s tourism industry, and with Bournemouth University and Bournemouth Borough Council as the key stakeholders, she has overseen a series of successful resort knowledge and customer care projects to enhance the visitor’s experience across the resort. 

As the NCTA moves into its second phase and building on the experience in Bournemouth, Sam is now overseeing a successful transition to working with coastal resorts nationally to boost tourism and the economies of coastal communities.  She works closely with VisitEngland, VisitBritain, the Tourism Alliance and other national bodies and sits on the Tourism Council.

Before joining the NCTA, Sam held a number of senior positions for Carnival UK and P&O Cruises, before which she worked for Salisbury Cathedral, Thomas Cook and at VisitBritain’s Chicago office.

She has an MSc in Tourism Management from Sheffield Hallam University and a Tourism Studies degree from Bournemouth University.

Jo Edom

Jo Edom

Academy Manager

Jo provides business management to the Academy and in addition to overseeing its finance and HR, has been responsible for commissioning research programmes.  An expert in understanding different research models and analysing results, she has managed a number of the Academy’s primary research projects including the evaluation of a new coastal attraction and new coastal event.  She has also evaluated a series of business and consumer surveys to assess the needs of tourism SMEs to help them expand and meet customer needs in coastal resorts.

Jo draws on a wealth of experience from tourist attractions and working with destination management organisations.

 

Sheron Crossman

Sheron Crossman

Marketing and Communications Manager

Sheron is responsible for the communications of the NCTA, internally, locally, regionally and nationally.  She disseminates the Academy’s coastal tourism research projects, visitor experience initiatives, industry insights and employment issues in the hospitality industry via the website’s Resource Hub and through the national trade and consumer media.  She also publicises the Academy’s conferences, master classes, events and training courses.

Before joining the NCTA, Sheron was a travel journalist for almost 25 years, and latterly worked in media relations for Bournemouth Tourism, Poole Tourism and the Dorset Local Enterprise Partnership.

 

Alex Catt

Alex Catt

Marketing Assistant

Armed with a first class degree in photography, Alex handles all of the Academy’s marketing material’s design and production.  He creates video content, imagery and graphic design for our training courses, research papers and visitor experience reports on our website.  He designs our newsletters, media releases and helps deliver the NCTA’s marketing and communications strategy.

Contact details

01202 962566
hello@coastaltourismacademy.co.uk