A £1m council-led resort management taskforce will make sure Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole are fully prepared and ready to both welcome back visitors and keep residents safe when government guidance changes.
Led by Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole (BCP) Council, a multi-partner management control centre at Bournemouth seafront will operate from the beginning of April until the end of September to coordinate operations that will manage any increase in visitors to the area.
The model has been used successfully for more than 12 years when the town has played host to major international events.
With a focus on the town centres, open spaces, seafront and beaches, the summer ready taskforce will put in place and manage:
- Extra civil enforcement officers to issue penalty charge notices for those parking illegally.
- Additional tow away operations to deal with irresponsible parking.
- Expansion of the ranger team with more staff in place across the season to welcome back visitors, keep beaches clean and safe, and provide a greater security presence.
- Enhanced security teams to patrol key town centre locations, car parks, beaches and open spaces.
- Extra waste bins in heavy footfall areas.
- Additional waste collection services along the seafront.
The taskforce will also work with transport providers outside the area to identify any potential increase in visitors arriving and ensuring that targeted messaging is in place to make sure those coming to the area are aware of the behaviours that are expected of them.
Enhanced onsite signage will also be in place to encourage visitors to protect, respect and enjoy the three towns.
Supported by existing campaigns, such as Leave Only Footprints, extra focus will be on encouraging people to enjoy and not damage the coastline, as well as targeted information on the enforcement measures that will be in place.
Commenting, BCP Council’s Portfolio Holder for Tourism, Leisure and Culture, Councillor Mohan Iyengar said: “We are proud to be a leading destination, welcoming around 13 million visitors a year. This visitor economy generates around £1bn to the local economy and supports more than 17,000 jobs directly, with many services also relying on this.
“The livelihoods of many local residents rely on this visitor economy and this last year has been tremendously challenging for operators across hospitality, accommodation, transport, marine, sports, arts, culture, events and many others.
“It’s important that we support those businesses by engineering the fastest bounce back possible and this year will be one opportunity. We will welcome people back when it’s safe to do so, making sure we provide a safe and enjoyable experience for everyone.
“Equally, we know that some residents will feel concerned about this year’s busy season and it’s important that we plan and be ready for when lockdown eases and people come to visit.
“Fighting coronavirus and keeping our residents safe is a priority for us and this will be the driving factor behind any decisions we take. As the situation improves and government guidance changes, we hope to be able to welcome visitors back to our towns. We want to restart activities quickly post-lockdown, but host visitors in a way that is safe.
“At this time last year, Covid-19 was new to the world and many were taken by surprise. This time, a multi-agency plan led by BCP Council, the police and other partners will draw on the learnings from summer ‘20 and from our knowledge of a year living with the virus.
“The messaging from us throughout will be that we welcome responsible visitors to our resorts, people who will treat things with care, behave reasonably and pick up after themselves. We’ll also be clear that some of the behaviours last year will not be tolerated and will be dealt with. Our partners will take whatever action is necessary.”