The Bay Tourism Association, formerly known as the Lancaster and District Tourism Association, changed their name in December 2009 and in 2010 hope to welcome a new chapter in the area’s tourism trade.
The association has more than 70 members including restaurants and attractions, as well as accommodation and it was thought that the old name was too restrictive as it didn’t really say who they were. It was decided that the bay was the key to the area but as well as Morecambe it also represent Lancaster, Carnforth and the Lune Valley.
The main focus revolves around promoting quality in the area and giving visitors a high standard of service.
The Morecambe Hotel and Tourism Association has 40 members and have joined forces with Bay Tourism. At a full meeting of the Morecambe Hotel and Tourism Association on Monday 8th March 2010, it was unanimously resolved that the MHTA joins with Bay Tourism to become one association under the name of Bay Tourism Association. Any member who is already a member of Lancashire and Blackpool Tourist Board will receive free membership of Bay Tourism.
The MHTA was unable to attract funding from outside and public agencies. Joining Lancashire and Blackpool Tourist Board was one option that was considered. However, Bay Tourism are already members of the L.B.T.B. and do attract funding from them to increase their profile and marketing.
The Bay Tourism Association (BTA) is now the new one stop voice representing all the principal tourism and visitor economic interests of Lancaster and Morecambe, the Lune valley and beyond. It makes sense and the Executive has been enlarged however it is felt that they still need to make the Executive more representative of tourism interests across the region and nominations for certain sectors are being actively sought.
The BTA works closely with Lancaster Chamber and organise joint promotional ventures with other tourism associations in the region. They are also looking to forge stronger links with Silverdale and South Lakes to jointly promote the region. It is recognised as a brand and as the voice of the independent tourism entrepreneur they are invited to contribute to a range of consultancies and business meetings. The £275M plus pa attributable to the visitor economy in this area is generated by their members and as local government agencies face cuts and reduction of services, Bay Tourism have to assume a greater role to promoting and supporting tourism in the bay area.
It is planned to launch a member’s privilege benefits card, discuss the benefits or otherwise of the M6 motorway link, organise conference and meetings opportunities and training. And in 2011 they are planning to organise and hold hotel and catering trade fair. Vale Tourism.