All aboard the buses

  • All aboard the buses

More than 70 staff from Bournemouth’s tourism industry have toured the area’s top visitor attractions on two familiarisation bus trips courtesy of the new National Coastal Tourism Academy.

The two bus tours took place this month on Thursday 6 and Wednesday 19 June with staff representing 21 different hotels, language schools and attractions.

In response to industry requests, the Academy has focused on improving knowledge of what Bournemouth and the surrounding area has to offer to enable hotel receptionists, restaurant waiting staff and employers in language schools to provide visitors with first-hand advice on the area’s landmark sites.

The open-top Discover Dorset bus explored Christchurch, Bournemouth and Poole, visiting key historic sites including Christchurch’s Castle and Priory, Hengistbury Head, continuing through central Bournemouth, Westbourne, Branksome Chine to Sandbanks and Poole Quay.

Responses from staff on the bus tours was extremely positive. Christian Neale, General Assistant at the Norfolk Royale Hotel commented: “Even though I was brought up in Bournemouth, it was extremely useful to visit places I hadn’t been in years and the commentary was both informative and amusing.

“It was great to be able to see Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole in one afternoon, and also to meet other staff in neighbouring hotels and guest houses. The fact the sun shone non-stop made it even better!”

Ann Hutcheson from Sandy Bay Guest House responded: “The tour was very much appreciated. It was extremely comprehensive and the goody bag containing tourist information from Bournemouth, Poole and Christchurch tourist offices was very useful.”

Stephen Godsall, Acting Director of the National Coastal Tourism Academy said: “Hotel reception staff are often the most important contact for visitors to Bournemouth, so ensuring they have first-hand experience of the resort and surrounding areas and attractions is vital. We want visitors to come back time and again.

“Feedback has been extremely positive. In fact we will be organising two more bus tours to meet demand. This is just the start of our visitor experience programme, we will be rolling out a number of new initiatives to support the industry. We would encourage anyone who works in the hospitality and tourism sector to get involved with the Academy – we will be industry-led.”

To become involved with the Academy, contact Natalie Tye, Action Team Leader, on 01202 451158 or email