Europe’s first National Coastal Tourism Academy was introduced last week to an audience of around 120 representatives from Bournemouth’s tourism and academic sectors.
The Academy will be a pioneering new organisation, launching a number of unique initiatives for the town’s tourism trade with the aim of generating new jobs and boosting the town’s tourism appeal. The NCTA will give the town’s tourism businesses access to cutting-edge on-line and face-to-face training to boost their business growth. It will also deliver a robust database in collaboration with Bournemouth University and will develop a resort-wide visitor experience initiative for staff working in the tourism sector.
A Coastal Activity Park at Boscombe will also be developed – the NCTA will be about new products as well as visitor experience. Research from all the initiatives will be stored on a database, analysed, and then shared with other UK coastal resorts to revive seaside economies.
A Bourne to Smile awards scheme was launched at the evening. The NCTA is recruiting Customer Care Champions across the resort who will be seeking examples of exceptional customer service, rewarded by £10 vouchers and certificates. Thirty champions have already been recruited with more to come. Emma Carter, receptionist at The Norfolk Royale Hotel, is the first recipient of the award and was presented with a voucher by Customer Care Champion Jacky Thorne.
Funding for the Academy has been provided by the Department of Communities and Local Government, with additional investment from Bournemouth Borough Council. The key purpose of the project is to create jobs in the tourism sector through growth in the local economy.