Who we are

The National Coastal Tourism Academy (NCTA) is the only organisation in the UK that focuses exclusively on coastal tourism.

The National Coastal Tourism Academy is the leading organisation on Coastal Tourism in England – we understand coastal issues, opportunities for growth and how to overcome the challenges that are exaggerated on the coast. Specifically the NCTA exists to:

  • Support the tourism industry
  • Bridging gaps in coastal tourism research
  • Share lessons learnt and best practice
  • Undertake development projects to make change happen
  • Vision, leadership and advocacy for coast

The NCTA team has a wealth of skills and experience gained in a variety of sectors in the travel and tourism industry, including hotels, cruising, tourist offices and attractions, alongside academic qualifications and experience of leading 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.

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, including Coastal Communities Fund, UKCES and Discover England Fund projects.

Sam’s work focuses on national engagement and partnerships that will help boost tourism and the economies of coastal communities.  Working closely with a wide range of stakeholders including central government, VisitBritain, coastal businesses, destinations, Coastal Community Teams and LEPs.

She led on the creation of the Vision for the Coastal Visitor Economy and is working with the Coastal Tourism Leadership Form to deliver its objectives. Sam is currently leading on the “England’s Coast” project, funded by the Discover England Fund, it aims to attract visitors from Germany, the Netherlands and France to our stunning coastline.

Jo Edom

Jo Edom

Research and evaluation support

Jo provides support to the Academy’s research and consultancy programme.  An expert in understanding different research models and analysing results, she has previously managed a number of the Academy’s primary research projects including new consumer research, business surveys and evaluation of the academy’s work, new events and businesses.  She has an in-depth knowledge of research techniques, evaluation, analysing data and developing strategic plans.

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. Sheron also manages the marketing and communications for England’s Coast (www.englandscoast.com) which promotes the coast of England to International Visitors and new Domestic audiences.  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. 

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 / Designer

Armed with a first class degree in photography, Alex handles all of the Academy’s marketing material’s design and production.  Alex leads on all the digital content for the England’s Coast project, across all our European social media channels.  He creates video content, imagery and graphic design for the website(s), our training courses, research papers and reports on our website.  He designs our newsletters, media releases and helps deliver the NCTA’s digital communications strategy.

Sara Uzzell

Sara Uzzell

Board Member

Sara is currently Area Manager (South) for National Trust Holidays.  Previously, Sara and her husband have owned and run two hotels in Bournemouth for over 15 years, successfully developing a business offering special interest holidays for groups. She 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.
Sara is also Deputy Chair of the Dorset Local Enterprise Partnership and a member of the Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Destination Management Board.

Professor Keith Wilkes

Professor Keith Wilkes

Chair of the NCTA Board

Keith was Executive Dean of the Faculty of Management at Bournemouth University and is now Professor Emeritus. The Faculty of Management which includes the school of tourism, one of the largest and acclaimed tourism and hospitality faculties in the world, has 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.

 

Mike Francis MBE

Mike Francis MBE

NCTA Board

Mike was 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 was 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, he still serves on the Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Destination Management Board.

 

Chris Saunders

Chris Saunders

Board Member

Chris is Director for Destination and Culture at Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Council with a portfolio spanning tourism, marketing, events, destination development, seafront operations, culture, museums and leisure.  He has extensive experience working in local authorities and previously held positions including Head of Seafront Operations.