NCTA - One Year On

Incredibly, the NCTA is one year old. To mark this milestone, we invited all visitor-facing businesses in Bournemouth to hear first-hand what the NCTA has achieved to date.

More than 60 industry representatives met at AFC Bournemouth’s Champion’s Restaurant on Tuesday 29 April, to hear from the NCTA team and two guest speakers – Louise Stewart, VisitEngland’s Strategy and Development Director, and hospitality speaker Adam Hamadache.

Samantha Richardson presented a snapshot in numbers: “With only a small team of nine, we have achieved a number of successes."

“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 the team is working on 50 different tourism projects. But we have a great deal more coming up.”

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.

Jacky Thorne, Visitor Experience Manager, gave the audience an overview of the customer care programme. A new, enhanced interactive version of the Bournemouth Ambassador training programme is now live, visit to try it out.

Bitesize Bournemouth has also just been launched, a new free whistle-stop educational tour of the town for new industry recruits and a free, new product knowledge booklet is also being produced – Welcome to Bournemouth.

Our One Year On event was also an opportunity to discover who had been voted Customer Care Champion of the Year 2013. Rosie Wallace, director at Days Hotel, was presented with a silver cup for providing outstanding care to a guest who had suffered a heart attack. Using her life-saving skills, she prevented a potential fatality and also ensured his wife and friend had accommodation at the hotel until he was able to return home.

The event also gave an opportunity to hear more on our research programme. While much of the initial findings from our Visitor Survey might come as no surprise – more than 90 per cent of our visitors visit the beach, 87 per cent have been to Bournemouth before, 13 per cent are first timers (visit Dissemination Hub to see the results in detail) - it was essential that we undertook this research so we had robust, accurate data on tourism to the town for the first time.

The audience also heard about the new Coastal Activity Park now open at Boscombe and the new business opportunities it creates. For more information, visit

To help Bournemouth’s tourism industry make enlightened business decisions, we’re trialling two benchmarking tools – T-Stats and The Satisfaction Tracker. Do get in touch with Alex Moss, if you’d like to get involved.

VisitEngland’s Strategy and Development Director, Louise Stewart, presented a national picture pointing out that unlike other sectors, the tourism industry had actually grown during the recession.

She told the audience: “We (the tourism industry) can’t fix the weather or the economy but lack of knowledge and broad-brush prejudices can prevent holidaymakers considering (taking holidays to) 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.”

To see her whole presentation and the national angle, click here.

Adam Hamadache, hospitality industry speaker and customer service expert, ended the event. To be successful, he said, guests need to be wowed. This is by being different, being personal, showing you care, knowing as much as you can about your customer and by being relevant.

Click here to view and download his full presentation.

By Sheron Crossman