A seasonal response plan set up in readiness to manage the resort’s beaches, town centres, parks and open spaces is in place to bring about the fastest bounceback for Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole.
BCP Council has set aside £3.5 million to make sure the resort is prepared for when visitors are able to return.
Chris Saunders, BCP Council’s Service Director Destination & Culture said; “Just this year we’ve been voted the UK’s best beach, so this on top of the fact that we’re ranked number five in Europe, means our beaches are amongst the best in the world.
“We’ve already launched our summer readiness plans so that we’re ready to welcome people back. When it’s safe to do so and government guidance allows we know people will come to our area and that’s a good thing. We’re a holiday destination and we’re proud of that. The staycation market is set to boom and we want to make sure we get a slice of that action.
“In the run up to Easter people will need to remember that the government guidance is to stay local. By government stipulation non-essential shops, restaurants and bars will still be closed, with very limited takeaway outlets open. So, people need to follow the government guidance and minimise travel and stay local. Our biggest message to visitors, is that if they really want to get the best of our towns, if they truly want to experience everything we have to offer then get your holiday booked from 17 May onwards – just hold on that little bit longer, we’re very nearly there!”
Launched this week (29 March) a multi-agency command control centre (MACC) will be in operation until the end of September and will oversee the seasonal plan’s day and evening operations, responding in real time to issues that arise when the resort experiences an increase in visitor numbers.
An additional 75 seafront staff have been recruited to welcome people, keep the beaches clean and safe, and provide a greater security presence.
In readiness for high traffic volumes the council is putting in place increased traffic management officers at key locations and car parks, including Sandbanks Ferry, Sandbanks car park, Branksome Chine, Alum Chine, Bath Road North/ South car park, Overstrand and Sea Road car park, Avon Beach car park, and Mudeford Quay car park.
Tow away zones will be in operation to deal with illegal parking, and plans are in place to increase the parking enforcement team, with more than 70 civil enforcement officers ready to be deployed in the peak summer months.
Working with transport providers plans are also underway to identify a suitable park and ride site ahead of the peak summer months.
Triple-sized bins are being installed along the seafront to deal with waste, and more daily collections will take place, with manual crews being stood up on days when the promenade is busy.
Around 30 electric BBQs will be installed along the seafront to reduce the use of disposable ones, and a 24 hour beach patrol operation will be in place to deal with incidents of overnight camping and bonfires.
Developments to the BCP BeachCheck app will include car parks so people can check how busy the beaches and car parks are before they arrive.
Extra security patrols, COVID marshals and additional CSAS officers will be deployed on the ground in hot spot areas to provide a uniformed presence and deal with anti-social behaviour and COVID regulations.
Public toilets will remain open with extended opening times into the evenings at key sites, and additional cleansing operations will be in place.
Not only are there extensive operational summer readiness plans in place but, renowned for their live events and entertainment, Bournemouth Christchurch and Poole are ready to re-establish themselves at the leading festival coast. Launching later this spring, Festival Coast Live! – is set to bring an exciting programme of outdoor activities and pop-up events creating a warm welcoming family atmosphere, for residents and holiday makers alike.
David Bailey, Chairman of the Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Destination Management Board said; “Our hotels, restaurants, bars, cafés, and many more businesses are all gearing up for when we can reopen. Hotel bookings across the destination have seen a significant increase with many reservations reflecting a national staycation trend with longer stay bookings being made well into the summer and beyond. On behalf of the tourism industry we’re really excited, we’ve worked hard, we’ve weathered the storm and with restrictions lifting, plans in place, Festival Coast Live set to bring something new for us all…we are resort ready, 17 May isn’t that far away.”
Tim Lloyd, Managing Director of Captains Club, Christchurch said; “Advanced bookings for our re-opening are very strong and it shows that people are planning to stay longer with the average stay up from two nights to four nights. Lots for families are booking our suites which shows that staycation continues to be the way forward. Last year was much more last minute but this year it seems people are making up their minds to get something in their holiday diary.”
A resort so ready, boasting award winning beaches, bold entertainment and a leading tourism industry it’s little wonder that the 17 May cannot come quick enough.
Chris Saunders added; “We do however, need to be realistic, and we know from what happened last year that despite everything being closed some people will still come. So, our message to them is get your self catering accommodation booked - but book it now - self catering accommodation is filling up fast! We want people to come to our beautiful part of the world but we will be clear that we welcome responsible visitors: People who will treat things with care, behave reasonably and pick up after themselves. Our beaches are amazing and we want to keep them that way.”
February of this year the council launched a £1million readiness package ahead of the government’s roadmap being announced. The council has now set aside a further £2.5million via additional government grants to fund the enhanced plan.
For further information on the council’s summer readiness plans visit the summer readiness webpage.