National Coastal Tourism Academy - One Year On!
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
National Coastal Tourism Academy – One Year On!
The National Coastal Tourism Academy has celebrated its first birthday by inviting top hoteliers, restaurateurs, retailers, academics and visitor-facing staff in Bournemouth’s hospitality and tourism industry to hear first-hand what the NCTA has achieved in its first year.
The event brought together more than 60 industry representatives on Tuesday 29 April at AFC Bournemouth’s Champion’s Restaurant.
The audience heard presentations from the NCTA team on its four key areas of focus – industry-relevant research, creating an enhanced visitor experience, new training programmes and the creation of a new coastal attraction – the Coastal Activity Park at Boscombe.
Delegates also heard from guest speakers Louise Stewart, VisitEngland’s Strategy and Development Director, and hospitality speaker Adam Hamadache.
“In our first year and with only a small team of nine, we have achieved a number of successes,” said Samantha Richardson, director of the NCTA.
“More than 1,200 people have completed our online training module Bournemouth Ambassador, we’ve engaged with 129 visitor-facing businesses in the town, we’ve recruited 115 Customer Care Champions and Scouts to reward examples of great customer service and we’re working on 50 different tourism projects.
“But as Louise Stewart highlighted at the event, there is always more a coastal tourist resort can do to attract new business and I would be delighted to hear from any business that would like to work with us to do just that.”
Louise Stewart told the audience that unlike other sectors, the tourism industry had actually grown during the recession, but said there remained an education job to be done: “We (the tourism industry) can’t fix the weather or the economy but lack of knowledge and broad-brush prejudices can prevent holidaymakers considering much of England.
“Many people’s geography is very bad, large swathes of the country are unfamiliar to them and they don’t expect them to be appealing. There’s also very patchy awareness even amongst the self-proclaimed, more knowledgeable empty nesters. A surprising number of people don’t know what’s on offer - even in resorts like Bournemouth.”
The NCTA has undertaken a visitor survey to provide accurate information as to who a ‘typical’ Bournemouth visitor is, their age, where they’re from and the results were shared with the industry at the event. A complete analysis is available at coastaltourismacademy.co.uk/research. This is the first time that robust, accurate research has been available.
New initiatives from the NCTA’s Visitor Experience programme were also announced, including the launch of Bitesize Bournemouth – a whistle-stop educational seminar on Bournemouth for all new industry recruits, alongside a new Welcome guide, and an enhanced version of the Bournemouth Ambassador training programme. All of these are free to Bournemouth’s tourism industry.
For more information and images, please contact Sheron Crossman, NCTA marketing manager, tel: 01202 962565 or Sheron.email@example.com.