Bourne to Smile launch

National Coastal Tourism Academy launches Bourne to Smile Awards to reward top service standards across Bournemouth

The National Coastal Tourism Academy (NCTA) has launched a new Bourne to Smile Awards scheme aimed at raising levels of customer service across Bournemouth in a bid to boost the town’s visitor economy and create jobs.

The Bourne to Smile Excellence Awards are designed to recognise, reward and inspire staff from across all industry sectors.

Some 50 Customer Care Champions have been recruited from a broad range of industries with representatives from hotels, transport, seafront, solicitors, language schools, attractions and others.

The Customer Care Champions will be seeking examples of exceptional or first-class service. They will then reward the member of staff with a Bourne to Smile Excellence Award of a £10 gift voucher for outstanding service or with a Confetti Award nomination for first-class service.

The member of staff and business with the most number of nominations will be honoured at an annual awards evening.

“First-class customer care is rewarded by healthy repeat business, so by raising the bench-mark, Bournemouth will be in a far stronger position to compete nationally for coastal tourism business,” commented Stephen Godsall, Acting Director of National Coastal Tourism Academy.

“We’ve already heard some amazing stories of individuals going way beyond normal service, driving miles out of their way. These awards give an opportunity so sing their praises and we hope it will inspire others to follow in their path.”

Potential Customer Care Champions are interviewed by members of the NCTA’s Visitor Experience Group which comprises representatives from the tourism industry, the Coastal and Town Centre BIDs and Bournemouth Borough Council staff.

Simon Scarborough, general manager of the Norfolk Royale Hotel, is chairman of the group. He said: “I am passionate about customer service, it’s the single biggest reason guests return. And it’s often the small things that count, remembering a favourite room or birthday, the mix of a drink – it’s all about personal service from start to finish - making guests feel special and valued.

“If we could provide superb service across the whole resort, we could transform the way we do business, reaping benefits for the entire visitor economy.”

Applications to become a Customer Care Champion should be sent to Natalie Tye, Action Team Leader at the National Coastal Tourism Academy. Email or tel: 01202 451158.