Bournemouth’s Christmas Tree Wonderland has won a major tourism award with the help of BU research.
The popular December attraction scooped the Best Event of the Year Award at the Association of Town and City Management Awards 2019.
The festive tree town trail was launched in November 2018 and saw 3.3 million people visit Bournemouth over six weeks to view over 100 sparkling Christmas trees including a huge 60ft walk through specimen with 30,000 lights on it.
Event planners in the town used an evaluation tool devised with the help of Bournemouth University to assess the viability of the Christmas attraction. F.A.M.E. stands for Framework for the Assessment of Major Events and is designed to help with the decision making process. It works by inputting different types of information and offsetting this against pre-determined objectives with the aim of reducing risks when planning for a major event. All major events in the town are now run through F.A.M.E. to assess their viability.
Dr Debbie Sadd, Principle Academic in Leadership and Strategy at BU who helped to devise F.A.M.E. alongside the Council said: “Congratulations to Bournemouth for winning this prestigious award. We at Bournemouth University are proud that we helped through the Framework for the Assessment for Major Events to support the council in their decision making and running a successful event.”
The award submission was a joint effort from the Town Centre BID, Coastal BID and BCP Council.
ATCM judges praised the scale and ambition of this event saying that “While Christmas trees at Christmas time may not be innovative, the scale and ambition of this event has taken the concept to an entirely new level.”
They added: “It is a joint submission from 3 partners, taking 3 years to plan and achieved the amazing feat of encouraging 3.3 million visitors to Bournemouth over the winter period. It has been so successful that this coastal town which is traditionally busier during the summer has transformed its peak season with winter attracting more people.”