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How AFC Bournemouth’s promotion could benefit local business

PUBLISHED: 10:07 08 June 2015 | UPDATED: 10:07 08 June 2015

AFC Bournemouth at Boscombe celebrating their promotion to the Premier league with an open-top bus tour of the town. Photo: Hattie Miles

AFC Bournemouth at Boscombe celebrating their promotion to the Premier league with an open-top bus tour of the town. Photo: Hattie Miles

Hattie Miles 07907 645897

Des Simmons, Chairman of the Bournemouth Tourism Management Board and Managing Director of Bournecoast Property Agents, reflects on how AFC Bournemouth’s promotion to the Premier League could benefit local business

There is a real “buzz” in Bournemouth at the moment. Everyone is excited about the promotion of AFC Bournemouth into the Premier League, and what makes it such an interesting story is the way the town has been in full support of their local club through the good, the bad, and now the great.

The question is, apart from the arrival of some world class football teams, what else can the town expect from this success story? Will the income stream from the Premiership just benefit the football club or will local businesses have the opportunity to benefit as well?

The Bournemouth Tourism Management Board believes that the promotion allows the town to reinforce the message that we offer a world class experience, being in a world class league. Tourism in Bournemouth should benefit as a result and, due to the way that the ‘visitor spend’ snowballs throughout the whole local economy, businesses can take advantage of the opportunities that will then present themselves.

People coming down for the matches will want to stick around. There’s so much to see and do in Bournemouth, so it wouldn’t be a surprise if match goers were inclined to stay for the whole weekend. Those that don’t decide to use the game for a weekend away are very likely to consider Bournemouth as a future destination for a family visit or short break. The football season starts just as the holiday season ends, so we wouldn’t expect to see too many issues in terms of overpopulation. It will help hoteliers and local businesses keep a constant stream of trade throughout the year.

The promotion will also give a global identity to Bournemouth because of the Premier League’s appeal across the world. There will be an increased awareness which should result in an instant recognition for Bournemouth when we are promoting the town as a tourist destination. In terms of benefits to the local economy, similar clubs have seen in excess of £50 million boost after being promoted.

So can Bournemouth cope with the attention? Absolutely! Every year we host one of the biggest festivals in Europe, the Bournemouth Air Festival, which attracts over 1.3 million people to the town over four days. We also expect half a million people to be in the town during the Wheels Festival over the late May Bank Holiday. Already the local authority is planning to work with the club to put sufficient traffic management arrangements into place, so we should be able to minimise any potential issues and ensure that new visitors will have a positive experience whilst in Bournemouth.

When any opportunity is presented, it is up to businesses how they react to it. Those who recognise the potential, and adapt where necessary, tend to be those who benefit the most. So, as a town we must work together with AFC Bournemouth and they should work together with us, to create a partnership which allows both parties to make the most out of the Club’s amazing achievement.

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Do you agree with Des or do you have a different point of view? Do you think AFC Bournemouth’s promotion will benefit the whole of the county? Email the editor helen.stiles@archant.co.uk, or drop us a line via pen and paper or tweet us your thoughts @dorsetmag #opinion.

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READ ON

Photographer Anthony Blake goes behind the scenes at AFC Bournemouth and interviews Marc Pugh - As a lifelong supporter of AFC Bournemouth, professional photographer Anthony Blake can often be found in the stands cheering ‘The Cherries’ on. We asked him to go behind the scenes with his camera and introduce us to Dorset’s only professional football club

AFC Bournemouth 2014/2015 - how promotion was won - April 27 2015 is a day Bournemouth fans will never forget. A 3-0 win against Bolton Wanderers all but secured promotion to the Premier League, just 6 years after almost being relegated from the Football League entirely. Here’s the story of this memorable season...

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