Coast into Bournemouth’s coastal academy

Taken from the Daily Echo, to see the full article please click here

EUROPE’S first National Coastal Tourism Academy has been introduced to Bournemouth’s tourism and academic chiefs.
The National Coastal Tourism Academy

The academy plans to launch a number of initiatives for the town’s tourism trade, with the aim of generating new jobs and boosting the town’s appeal.

The NCTA plans to give the town’s tourism businesses access to on-line and face-to-face training to boost their business growth.

A Coastal Activity Park at Boscombe will also be developed, based around the failed surf reef.

The academy will work as a partnership between Bourne-mouth Borough Council, Bourne-mouth University and the area’s tourism trade through the Bournemouth Tourism Manage-ment Board.

Speaking at the launch on Thursday, the NCTA’s acting director, Stephen Godsall, said: “When Bournemouth was awarded central government funding to create Europe’s first National Coastal Tourism Academy, Bournemouth was hailed as an ‘exemplar town that looks towards the future’ by Eric Pickles, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government.

“The Academy is industry-led and research-driven.

“We are harnessing valuable market research to help boost the bottom line of tourism businesses.

“It’s also about new products and packages and investing in know-how.

“By providing a better visitor experience we can create more recommendations, more return visits and more jobs.

“No one pretends this is easy – if it were it would have been done before. “But this is certainly an opportunity the town should grab with both hands.”

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.

A product knowledge package was also announced for tourism industry staff.

Discover Dorset bus tours will be offered as a familiarisation trip of the town, a Tourism Trade Pass will be available from mid-May giving staff free or discounted access to key tourist attractions, a staff induction package is also being developed and a new Bournemouth Browser is being launched, giving visitor information at hotel receptions.

Stephen Godsall also revealed that a new online training package for customer care and product knowledge would be delivered, with a target of 1,000 courses to be completed by the end of the summer.

PLANS to create Britain’s first Coastal Activity Park – based around Boscombe’s failed surf reef – over the next two years were also outlined on Thursday evening.

The Park is part of the new National Coastal Tourism Academy and bosses say it “will offer a greatly-expanded choice of new sports opportunities and a packed programme of events for local residents and seafront visitors, creating a ground-breaking new attraction”.

Throughout this summer a line-up of events and pilot activities will take place, including tag rugby, beach volleyball, triathlons, a family adventure festival and children’s activity sessions.

The Coastal Activity Park will feature new facilities at Boscombe seafront, including a try-dive learning tank for beginner divers, a snorkel trail around the artificial reef, an outdoor gym along the promenade as well as state-of-the-art multi-use courts, family play facility and a bigger choice of water sports.

It is hoped that the first installations will be in situ by the end of the year, with the second phase ready for use by spring next year.

New amenities at the park will include a submerged dive trail, a sailing dinghy park and beach launch, family play facilities with picnic area, a climbing wall, an open water canoe programme and trail, surf and stand-up paddleboard equipment for new entrants to the sports, and an expanded choice of water sports and education support facilities.

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