Best of Dorset Attractions Group celebrates three decades of promoting tourism

Bridport and Lyme Regis News: DRAWING POWER: BOD members  outside Athelhampton House DRAWING POWER: BOD members outside Athelhampton House

Leaders from tourist attractions across Dorset gathered to celebrate 30 years of the Best of Dorset Attractions Group (BOD).

Their special lunch, annual meeting and seminar was held at Athelhampton House, the home of their founding meeting.

Among the guest speakers were Dr Bruce Grant-Braham, tourism, leisure and hospitality champion and communications lead at Dorset Local Enterprise Partnership, and representatives from Battens Solicitors who sponsored the BOD group this year.

Dr Grant-Braham spoke about promoting tourism in Dorset and exciting new proposals for a destination management organisation.

Battens’ chairman and head of planning David Stephens outlined the recent changes to planning law and what this will mean to tourism businesses wishing to build a new feature or change the use of their buildings.

Head of employment Dawn Gallie delivered advice on casual hours and zero hour contracts and how to deal with staff capability issues.

Three of the original founding members were in attendance and recalled meeting at Athelhampton House in 1983.

Michael Ridley from The Dinosaur Museum in Dorchester said: “We had an idea to work together to encourage growth in the tourism sector and produce an attraction guide for visitors to the area.

“It is great to see how the group has developed over the years.”

The group has grown to include 24 leading venues, including three of the original founding members, and continues to work together to build on the tourism offering in the area.

It distributes 350,000 copies of their guide each year to help visitors find the best attractions Dorset has to offer, organises press visits, offers special discount vouchers and publishes a full programme of forthcoming events on the BOD website.

BOD chairman John Houston said: “The tourism sector works hard to deliver a great visitor experience.

“The Best of Dorset Attractions Group brings professionals together to enhance that offering and ensure that visitors to Dorset can easily find the incredible variety of excellent attractions we have to offer.

“Many of the businesses in the group have been members for over 20 years, it is testament to how much they value working together.”

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