Otley shortlisted for tourism award


5:31pm 13th March 2018

Otley has been shortlisted for the prestigious prize of the country’s most Coach Friendly Destination at the prestigious British Coach Tourism Awards 2018.

The historic market town, that bridges cosmopolitan Leeds and the Yorkshire Dales, will vie for the prize against six other villages, towns and cities at a glittering awards ceremony to be held on Wednesday March 21st, 2018, at the National Motorcycle Museum, Birmingham.

The national awards recognise excellence in coach tourism. Nominees for the Coach Friendly Destination award are selected based on their commitment to welcoming coaches, coach groups and coach drivers, as well as steps they have taken to improve the coach friendliness of the destination over the previous 12 months. In addition to on-the-ground delivery, judges also look at examples of website development and partnership working when considering applications for the shortlist.

Otley has targeted coach tourism as a development sector as part of its ongoing commitment to increase tourism to the town, a move spearheaded by a Town Coordination Group that includes representatives of Otley Town Council, Otley BID, Otley Town Partnership and the Otley & District Chamber of Trade and Commerce.

Over the past years, a number of coach-friendly initiatives have been set up in the town, including a dedicated Coach & Group Travel page on the visitotley.co.uk website, pick-up and drop-off bays, dedicated coach parking and improved facilities for drivers, including a £5 welcome voucher to spend in Otley’s cafes and restaurants. Coaches can now also request an official welcome from Otley Bellman, Terry Ford.

Lawrence Ross of Visit Otley said:

Thanks to our fabulous setting, market town status, excellent tearooms and the use of Otley as a location for popular TV series such as Emmerdale, Otley presents an attractive stop for coach companies that offer Yorkshire tours.

“While many of them already include us on their itineraries, we feel coach tourism is an area of growth for the town, which is why we have made coordinated efforts to be even more welcoming to coaches and their passengers. Being shortlisted for the award is just recognition for all the hard work done by the Town Coordination group and its members over the past 18 months.”

Otley will be represented at the awards ceremony by chair of the town council Cllr Ray Georgeson (Lib Dem, Danefield) and Stephanie Lee, chair of Otley BID. Competition will come from Beverley, Bournemouth, Burnham-on-Sea, Devon, Guildford and Wells,

In a separate move, Otley has also applied for Coach Friendly Status recognition, an award offered by trade body, the Confederation of Passenger Transport UK, for towns with exceptional welcomes for coaches, drivers and passengers.

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