Hospitality & Tourism

BCP accommodation providers vote 'Yes' to first of its kind Business Improvement District

By Sam Pither [email protected]

Published: May 14, 2024 | Updated: 14th May 2024

Major accommodation providers in Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole have voted yes on a first of its kind scheme to strengthen and grow tourism in the coastal area.

The Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Accommodation Business Improvement District (BCP ABID), which will generate more than £12m over five years, is aiming to safeguard the local economy through enhanced destination marketing.

The hope is that this will attract more visitors and elevate the experience in both high and low season.

The scheme is controlled and managed by businesses, with funds used to sustain and develop large-scale events such as the Air Festival, Arts by the Sea, Poole Christmas Maritime, and Christmas Tree Wonderland, as well as facilitating the creation of new events to draw both leisure and business tourists.

BCP ABID will launch marketing campaigns to support destination growth in an increasingly competitive market, also generating and sustaining much-needed employment opportunities and retaining the talent of the local workforce.

Furthermore, it will develop placemaking aspects to ensure the destination maintains its reputation for providing green, clean, and welcoming spaces.

Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole will be the first coastal destination to have an Accommodation BID demonstrating the strength of partnership working and the progressive approach of the Accommodation Providers in the area, which believe that without this investment, their livelihoods and businesses may be threatened.

As local authority budgets are increasingly unable to support destination marketing and local events, many other places across the UK are considering similar arrangements, indicating that the ABID model is likely to become widespread in the near future.

Starting from 1st July, 2024, large accommodation providers in the BCP ABID area will pay a levy based on a £2 per night charge on visitors.

Rosie Radwell, Marsham Court Hotel and Chair of the Shadow ABID Board explained: “This is good news for the destination, and we are thrilled that the Accommodation Providers have voted in favour of the ABID.

“The additional funds raised will have a huge impact on the future of tourism in Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole.

“On behalf of the volunteer Shadow ABID Board, I would like to thank our fellow Accommodation Providers for recognising the power of partnership working and the necessity to act now.

“We are excited about the future and have already started to plan projects and events to enhance tourism in the area”.

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