Back to work today…….then watched the sun going down on 2011
I have been back in the office today to take advantage of being by myself for a few hours to think clearly and prepare various papers.
For many reasons 2012 will be a significant year for us and I am working on a number of projects.
We have clearly identify some areas for improvement from the feedback received from our customers and my target is to improve our customer ratings and at the same time work with the BH&HPA to encourage more parks to participate – which will probably mean that with many excellent parks joining the scheme I will be making it harder for us!!
Secondly, we are finalising some interesting plans for the parks and hopefully we will be given the opportunity to investing in the quality of our facilities and services to play our part in the recovery of the Dorset economy which is so dependent on tourism – more updates over next few months……..
My sister watched the sun going down on the NZ south island and send me a text describing the awesome sky with a ‘mass of pink, orange and red clouds lapping the sea and mountains’ ….. so I thought it would be a good idea to take a photo of our sunset over Eype; not so awesome this evening with a grey sky, but a good reminder of all the excellent sunsets during 2011 and to look forward and wish for some wonderful sunsets during 2012………Happy New Year
The three days of Xmas are over – starting with our local carol service in Eype Church on Christmas Eve followed by a very peaceful and enjoyable family Christmas Day at home and then on the Boxing day the traditional walk to West Bay to watch over 150 brave swimmers raising money for various charties.
All regular vistors to West Bay will know Margaret’s kiosk on the sea front and it was great to see her open and serving hot teas and coffees – West Bay would not be the same if Margaret was not in her kiosk. I bought my first ice cream from her over 40 years ago; I am sure many of you have fond memories of eating one of Margaret’s ice creams……
I was cold watching on from the pier wearing my new ‘Fat Face’ jumper (new Fat Face shop in Bridport so we all had Fat Face presents) and quickly placed my contribution in the collection tins and headed for the West Bay Hotel for a couple of drinks ………. and lots of conversations about 2011 and hopes for 2012.
Its getting colder here in Dorset and, as usual, we complained about the cold weather but watch the news with many parts of the UK covered in snow and ice.
I have missed my photography lessons for a couple of weeks and trying to think of something different for my ‘homework’ I decided that it would be better to stay in by the fire. I will probably get low marks, but at least I was warm!
On the parks we are preparing for the Xmas Break – it is the last Xmas function in the bar tomorrow and with the exception of the pool and regular security checks the parks start the quietest 10 days of the year.
We have finished two of our main projects – the new Housekeeping Store and the refurbishment of the bungalows – and after the break we have to concentrate on the seasonal touring pitches and the toilet and shower blocks in addition to all the routine maintenance tasks we have started and not finished – 13 weeks and the parks will be open……..
I take the advantage to have a few quiet days in the office and give some thoughts to finalising our plans for next year and clearing the outstanding paperwork so that I have fresh start in January……..I need to get my New Years’ Wish List ready……
Jurassic Coast 10th anniversary
Last week Vanessa and I were invited to attend a Dinner to mark the 10th anniversary of the formal designation of the Jurassic Coast – to quote from official website –
the 10th anniversary of its inscription on UNESCO’s World Heritage List on 13th December, the Jurassic Coast is not only a stunning 95 mile walk through 185 million years of the earth’s history; it is a place where outstanding earth sciences have inspired artists to creative dramatic, beautiful, and thought provoking works of art.
It does not seem possible that 10 years have passed by and the Jurassic Coast is now embedded in the way in which we live and market our tourism destination. The balance between the conservation of the coast and the promotion of tourism to ensure that it can be enjoyed by all provides a topic for many lively conversations, but we all appear to be taking the right approach.
Over the last 4 years we have been very involved with the Jurassic Coast Trust and we have just finalised our accounts for the year and visitors to our parks have beaten the previous record and donated £6,500 to the Trust – which brings our total to over £24,000.
This money will be used by the Trust for local educational or recreational projects and our contribution has already funded fossil interpretation boxes in local schools.
We had a very enjoyable evening which not only marked this milestone, but recognised the hard work done by many of the people involved during the early days who were committed to the project and spent over 8 years preparing the application which was approved in 2001. During the evening we were entertained by a very enthusiastic ‘B Sharp Lyme Youth Art Group’ followed by the Exmouth Shantymen.
Edinburgh and Makers Market
I was invited to the BH&HPA Scotland Conference in Edinburgh towards the of November to give a presentation on the BH&HPA feedback system and how it impacts on the management of our parks. Hopefully, I have encouraged more parks to participate.
David Lakins of KeyMultimedia based in Dorset gave an excellent presentation to the conference on the influence of social media on the tourism industry and holiday parks. He has a wealth of experience of ecommerce and I am sure that by the end of his session everyone in the audience had a greater understanding of the future of the mobile phone and its potential impact on the way we live and run businesses.
On 3 December the Makers Market was held in Eype Church and it proved to be a very successful day and we opened up the car parks at Highlands End to enable visitors to more easily walk to the church. The event raised money for local charities as well as providing the opportunity to buy unique gifts for Xmas