​National Coastal Tourism Academy Scoops Award!

National Coastal Tourism Academy Scoops Award!

The Association for Tourism in Higher Education (ATHE) has awarded Bournemouth’s new National Coastal Tourism Academy a prestigious ATHE award for Building Leadership and Management Capacity in the Visitor Economy.

Although only established this summer, the NCTA has kick-started a range of new initiatives to create growth in the town’s tourism industry. These include new training programmes to improve customer service, the recruitment of Customer Care Champions and Scouts to nominate examples of outstanding service, research into business tourism, projects to boost tourism in the shoulder months, analysis of the health of the visitor economy, and much more.

The award was presented to Samantha Richardson, the Academy’s director, at the ATHE’s annual conference in Canterbury last week.

“This is a tremendous honour,” she said. “The Association for Tourism in Higher Education promotes the study of tourism in the country’s top academic institutions, promoting the very highest standards in learning, teaching and research. So to receive this award is wonderful.

“We’re partly funded by Bournemouth University and have been working with students on a range of topics to help tourism in the town. Dissertation students have been paired with local tourism businesses, undergraduate students are creating a framework for customer care that can be rolled out across Bournemouth, PhD students are researching health and well-being tourism – all of these projects will have practical results we can share with town’s tourism industry.

“We act as a bridge between Bournemouth University and the town’s tourism and hospitality industry and we will increasingly provide opportunities for students to engage with local businesses through projects and fieldwork. Receiving an award that recognises this bridge is enormously encouraging.”

The NCTA is also working with the local hospitality industry to help students gain industry placements as part of their course, and after graduating, to high-quality employment in the tourism industry.

Dean of the School of Tourism at Bournemouth University, Dr Keith Wilkes, commented: “Bournemouth University’s Tourism Department has long held an international reputation for pioneering research in tourism and hospitality. The arrival of the National Coastal Tourism Academy at the University presents the ideal opportunity to strengthen the bond between local tourism businesses and tourism graduates and to provide new opportunities for student placements and jobs.

“With tourism at the very core of the local economy, we’re pleased to work in partnership with the NCTA to help stimulate job creation and raise the industry benchmark. This award from the Association for Tourism in Higher Education recognises that goal.”

The Academy has consulted more than 60 visitor-facing businesses in the town to understand their challenges and seek opportunities for collaborative working. One recurrent theme is the importance of retaining talent from the University’s school of tourism graduates as well as forging stronger links between students and the tourism industry while studying at the University.

Students at Bournemouth and Poole College and at the University have been undertaking the Academy’s Bournemouth Ambassador on-line training module, a free course providing factual information on the town alongside tips on how to deliver great customer service.


Notes to editors:The National Coastal Tourism Academy is a partnership between Bournemouth Borough Council, Bournemouth University and the local tourism industry. It is funded by the Department of Communities and Local Government, with additional investment from Bournemouth Borough Council and Bournemouth University, initially for two years. The key purpose of the project is to create jobs in the tourism sector through growth in the local economy.

For further media information, please contact Sheron Crossman, NCTA marketing and communications manager, Sheron.crossman@coastaltourismacademy.co.uk or tel: 01202 962565.