Hotel staff who work along the East and West Cliffs have been given free-to-use access to Beryl bikes and e-scooters on their daily commute into work.
Bournemouth Coastal BID and national e-scooter and bike hire company, Beryl, partnered together to reduce congestion and support the hospitality business by encouraging free travel on eco-friendly modes of transport. It has been funded by ‘business improvement district’.
The scheme was launched last week and is already running very well, with a lot of interest from several local hotels.
Fiona McArthur from Bournemouth Coastal BID, which represent businesses along the Dorset coast, says that this work will hopefully help businesses flourish and work with the community.
“We are trying to encourage staff to remain in hotels. A hotels success depends on whether staff are there so hopefully this will go a little way to make sure the staff are there, they are on time and will be happy when they are at work,” says Fiona.
hopefully this will go a little way to make sure the staff are there, they are on time and will be happy when they are at work”
She says that riding a bike or e-scooter along the coast will also be great for the mental health of staff.
In Bournemouth alone, it is estimated that tourism is worth more than half a billion pounds and is one of the premier tourist destinations in the UK.
However, being one of the first industries to fold when the pandemic hit, latest figures from Visit Dorset show that rates in visitor trips, visitor spending and day trips have fallen over the past few years.
“Hoteliers are finding they are struggling retaining and recruiting staff so we are giving them an incentive to help business owners look after their staff by introducing free bike rides,” says Fiona.
Rosie Radwell, Managing Director at Marsham Court Hotel along the East Cliff in Bournemouth, says: “it is a great and positive scheme.” The Hoteliers Association will also look into installing parking bays by the hotels so that guests can use them in the next few months.
CEO of Beryl, Phil Ellis, says: “We want to inspire more people to take up sustainable travel options to help reduce road congestion and improve air quality.”
“We want to inspire more people to take up sustainable travel options to help reduce road congestion and improve air quality.”
He added that while this scheme is a drive to boost sustainable travel in the area, cycling is also a fun and great way to exercise.
(Voice of Fiona McArthur)
“Partnership schemes such as this can hopefully inspire even more people to incorporate active travel into their daily routines,” says Phil.
Fiona also recognised that the hospitality industry has been widely undervalued, however COVID may be changing that.
“It is very hard work [hospitality], long hours, and salaries haven’t reflected that.
“One of the knock off effects from COVID is that people are valuing the industry much more and people are looking after their staff so hopefully this goes to further cementing that.”