Wells wins major coach travel award

March 26 2018
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WELLS has been recognised as one of the most ‘coach friendly’ destinations in the UK.

Two years of work to improve the experience of coach visitors has culminated in the award of ‘Coach Friendly City’ from the Confederation of Passenger Transport (CPT).

Only 30 cities, towns or villages in the UK have met the requirements to earn this accolade.

Now more coach trips are likely to be made to Wells, with visitors staying for longer and spending more in the city as a result.

Ian Jefferies, director of Visit by Coach which has been working on the project with Wells’ City and Tourism Forum, was at the NEC in Birmingham on March 21 to collect the award.

“This award is great recognition of two years’ collaborative working by many groups and individuals within Wells,” he said.

“The accreditation is highly regarded within the industry and will hopefully reinforce the great name Wells has gained in the group travel world.

“It is fantastic that the tourism forum in Wells recognised the value of group travel and the huge financial impact it has on a destination and they all should be congratulated on their positive attitude that has now seen this national recognition.

“The project has grown at a rapid pace and the support of many groups, businesses and the local authorities and not forgetting our amazing voluntary ‘meet and greet’ team has been impressive and something Wells should be very proud of.”

Coach friendly status is awarded to destinations which demonstrate a clear commitment to welcoming coaches, coach parties and drivers.

“I’m delighted that the partnership in the City of Wells have now gone forward and expanded on the coach friendly attraction status for the Bishop’s Palace and Cathedral,” said CPT South West regional manager John Burch.

“They have now won coach friendly status for the entire city, and demonstrated that the principals can be expanded to really benefit businesses and attractions across an even wider area. The bid team have combined forces to offer coach groups an excellent package at this beautiful Somerset destination.

“CPT hopes that the work undertaken to achieve the award will result in a growth in coach numbers and indeed, the actual length of coach stays, in the city.”

Andy Webb of Visit Wells said that group travel is vital to the city’s visitor economy.

“Visit Wells, the official visitor information service for the city, is delighted to be working with a growing partnership of volunteers and organisations in Wells to ensure that we welcome coach and bus operators and the visitors that they bring – and provide them with an experience that will ensure that they return again and again,” he said.

“Achieving coach friendly status is a big step in our efforts to work with the CPT and its members to deliver this welcome.”

• Anyone wishing to know more about the project or opportunities to get involved can contact Ian on ian@visitbycoach.com or 07903 463700.

Picture: Ian Jefferies of Visit by Coach, left, receives a certificate to mark Wells’ coach friendly status from Simon Smith of the Confederation of Passenger Transport at the British Tourism & Travel Show 2018 at the NEC