Most Coach Friendly Tourist Attraction
This award is designed to recognise and reward leisure and tourist attractions who have gone 'that extra mile' to accommodate, attract, and welcome coaches, their drivers and their passengers.
It was once again a very close contest this year between attractions which had done a great deal of hard work in this area.
Winners: The Eden Project, Cornwall
Built in a disused clay mine, the Eden Project is a rich, global garden where people can learn about nature and get inspiration about the world around them. Opened in 2001 the project now employ approx 500 staff, and around 150 volunteers. Travel trade and group visits account for approx 6.5% of our yearly visitors (excluding school and educational visits).
Stewards endeavour to board all coaches to provide a welcome and short familiarisation talk, this includes updates and information about events on-site. The welcome is designed to enable the passengers make the most of their day.
Facilities include two coach parks and dedicated drop off point. The Lemon coach park offers a driver’s rest room: facilities include complimentary tea and coffee, TV, and pool table. There is a free coach wash area. On arrival, coach drivers are also provided with free admission to the Project plus a £10 catering voucher which can be spent in any of Eden’s award-winning restaurants and cafés.
Runners Up: West Midland Safari and Leisure Park
West Midland Safari Park opened in 1973 and covers 200 acres, consisting of a 100-acre drive through safari, Discovery Trail, Live Shows and Amusement Park, supported by various food outlets and shops.
The Park employs around 450 staff during peak season and welcomes over 600,000 visitors per year - 20% of which arrive by coach. The Park aims to provide an entirely hassle free visit for coach operators, drivers and their groups, valuing the business that is brought to them and constantly looking at ways to make improvements.
The judges appreciated the fact that Groups and Coach Operators are often the first to be made aware of new exhibits and features in publications throughout February and March whereas it is usually Easter before such exhibits are announced to the public. The Park's coach-friendliness is well-known, it is a deserving runner-up for the third year in a row.
The following venues were also nominated by coach operators, and were highly commended by the judges.
- Alton Towers Resort, Staffordshire
- Royal Yacht Britannia, Leith, Edinburgh
Who could be nominated?
Static attractions, including theme parks, amusement parks, sports and leisure facilities.
… and by whom
Coach operators were asked to nominate attractions whose service they had admired during the last 12 months. They were asked to explain why they thought the nominated attraction deserved this award.