Published: April 6, 2013
Burnham-On-Sea reaches finals of national coach tourism awards

Burnham-On-Sea could soon become the UK's 'Coach Friendly Town Of The Year' after reaching the finals of a nationwide tourism awards competition.

Burnham has this week been announced as one of the six finalists in the running for the sought-after title of 'coach-friendly town or city of 2013' alongside Bournemouth, Chesterfield, Liverpool, Shrewsbury and Skipton.

The Coach Tourism Awards is the only national award scheme that focuses on coach tourism, operators, destinations and attractions.

Ian Jefferies, BIARS Business and Tourism Manager, who compiled Burnham's bid, told "We are absolutely delighted that recognition has been given to our small town against a lot of major cities."

"Hopefully being seen in this light by Britain's largest coach awards will mean that many coaches that haven't stopped in our town before will now come here and bring in welcome revenue."

"A lot of work has been carried out over the last few months, collating coach incentives within our town and distributing this package to drivers and coach companies."

Ian added: "Two other people have put a lot of work in this project with me, Les Barber and Helen Brodie. We would not have got this far without their input."

The successful awards submission also included supportive letters from Burnham's Mayor, Cllr Ken Smout, and Burnham's Chamber of Trade.

The coach-friendly package put together for Burnham includes free coach parking from Sedgemoor District Council, plus information for coach visitors from a group of 'meeters and greeters', organised by Burnham Town Team.

An information pack has also been put together for coach firms and drivers to show the locations of free coach parking and where drivers can get a free newspaper and meal thanks to the generosity of businesses in Burnham.

Ian added: "I would think we are one of the few towns or cities to be short-listed without substantial council financial support, which only goes to show what a great community we have here."

"Fingers are now crossed that we can now take this award home, which was won by Liverpool in 2012."

The awards ceremony, where the overall winner will be announced, will be held at Liverpool Cathedral in May.


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