'Let's capitalise' on city's big year
The boss of Bath's tourism body has said the city needs to pull together to build on its 2012 success.
Chief executive of Bath Tourism Plus, Nick Brooks-Sykes, said BTP was there to make the city more successful and make the most of its assets.
Mr Brooks-Sykes, who was addressing more than 180 members of Bath's business community at the BTP annual tourism forum, said: "We have to work harder at working together. We have to raise our game. Other destinations are equally as competitive."
Mr Brooks-Sykes, who has been in the top tourism job a year, said 2012 had been a year of change with the opening of a new tourist information centre, the launch of the Bath App and the creation of the Great Bath Feast food festival, which involved 140 businesses in more than 70 events.
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He said the information centre had helped 450,000 people, dealt with 10,000 telephone enquiries, and had achieved a turnover of more than £700,000. During 2012 Bath was part of the Olympic Torch relay, gaining widespread media publicity. It was also featured on the BBC's The One Show – which broadcast live from the switching-on of the city's Christmas lights – and Good Morning Australia, which covered the city's involvement in the Olympics.
Mr Brooks-Sykes added the city's businesses were enjoying better and more regular networking, and had developed partnerships with First Great Western and Bristol Airport.
Bath has set itself a target of attracting £4 million visitor spend by 2014.
Mr Brooks-Sykes said: "At a time when many destinations are flat lining a 12 per cent growth is very ambitious but it's something that is achievable."
He added: "At the heart of the team, at BTP, we want to help, we want to be out there getting involved, we want to do stuff and be pro-active."
The tourism forum also included the launch of the new 2013 Bath Visitor Guide, which provides details of places to stay, eat and see for tourists, and a new Venues Directory, for businesses wanting to host events in the city.