NCTA joins Mark Francois in call for more coastal community teams
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Coastal Tourism Academy Champions Minister’s Call for more Coastal Teams to drive coastal tourism growth
Coastal Communities Minister Mark Francois has urged destinations around the coast to bid for a share of the government’s new £200,000 fund to set up their own coastal community teams and has praised the work of the National Coastal Tourism Academy (NCTA) which offers research and identifies new opportunities for coastal destinations.
Speaking on a visit to the Bournemouth-based NCTA this week, he described its work as “very valuable” in helping to boost coastal tourism economic growth, saying: “The NCTA has provided very valuable work in terms of helping us understand the coast better and to understand what works and what doesn’t work in terms of coastal revival and generating jobs and growth.”
Mr Francois said that Bournemouth’s community had done an excellent job with its contribution to the high-performing Dorset Coast Coastal Community Team proposing exciting plans to bring an extra 650 jobs to the area.
Now Mr Francois wants others to learn from the town’s success and bid for a slice of £200,000 new government money to help set up their own coastal community team and develop a radical plan to boost businesses and generate jobs.
NCTA director Samantha Richardson backed Mr Francois’ comments, saying: “I’d encourage those towns that don’t have a Coastal Community Team to seize this opportunity to start one. The visitor economy is critical in many coastal communities and the most successful destinations are those that are working collaboratively towards a strategic plan.”
The NCTA has highlighted that coastal tourism is worth £8 billion to the economy, narrowly regaining its pole position as the largest domestic overnight sector. However it faces significant challenges particularly in recruiting and retaining skilled staff.
To assist coastal communities, the government has spent £120m on more than 200 destinations around the coast and has announced further funding.
“We’ve secured another £90m from the Treasury for the next four years, which we’re pretty pleased about in an era when money’s tight,” Mr Francois added.
“By 2021, we will have spent about a fifth of a billion pounds on what we’ve branded the Great British Coast. We’ve also done some research that suggests for every pound invested, you get a return of up to £8.”
The government’s Coastal Communities Fund has underwritten 118 Coastal Communities Teams across the country, including five in Dorset.
Mr Francois said: “They bring together local authorities, businesses, voluntary and charitable groups and local residents to form a team to come up with an economic plan for regeneration of their coastal area.”
On his visit to the Academy, Mr Francois heard first-hand how the NCTA has developed Master classes and training courses for hospitality staff, business support toolkits, best practice guides, research projects and much more, freely available to coastal destinations on its website Resource Hub,www.coastaltourismacademy.co.uk/resource-hub
Notes to editors: The National Coastal Tourism Academy (NCTA) is a Coastal Communities Fund project that analyses the nature of coastal tourism to help boost jobs and the coastal tourism economy.
It works with academia and the tourism industry to bridge gaps in research, visitor experience, training and skills. Having worked initially in Bournemouth with the local tourism industry and Bournemouth University, the NCTA is now working with coastal resorts nationally.
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