Wales Millennium Centre has been voted the UK’s top Coach Friendly Visitor Attraction of the Year at the annual Coach Tourism Awards, beating Alton Towers Resort and Theme Park to the top ranking. The award is given in recognition of the Centre’s commitment to welcoming coaches, coach groups and coach drivers.
The national awards scheme, organised by trade magazine Coach Monthly, and hosted by television presenter and travel and tourism expert, Judith Chalmers, recognises excellence across the coach tourism industry and includes tourist destinations and attractions, industry suppliers, coach tour operators.
The Centre’s 1900 seat Donald Gordon Theatre is a popular draw for coach parties, especially for the blockbuster West End musicals. For example, 18% of the total audience for the 6 week run of Oliver was coach and group bookers, with 19% for Grease the Musical.
Over the last 12 months the Centre has been enhancing its service to coach operators and group bookers and has introduced a dedicated area on its website. Special provision is also made for coach drivers, with free tickets, rest areas and refreshments.
This is not the first time that the Centre has been recognised for the quality of its welcome – it has also won the Theatrical Management Association’s Most Welcoming Theatre in the UK Award, and has been a finalist three times for this most coveted award, the only theatre in the UK to have achieved this accolade.
Jason Edwards, Commercial Director of Edwards Coaches, who have regularly brought thousands of visitors to the Centre every year said ‘Wales Millennium Centre is a fantastic venue not only for coach parties but also for anyone looking to experience some of the biggest shows around. This venue is a true asset to Welsh tourism. We have always enjoyed working with the Centre due to their helpful and pleasant approach. The staff always endeavour to fulfill our requirements without question and offer an all round quality service. We are delighted that they have been recognized with this national award.’
“These are the only national awards that focus specifically on the coach tourism industry,” says the editor of Coach Monthly, Stuart Render. “Delivering a quality welcome to coaches, their drivers and their groups is becoming more and more important as destinations/attractions look to encourage more visitors/customers. Wales Millennium Centre was up against many of the UK’s leading destinations/visitor attractions so this is therefore a well-deserved and a significant achievement. Our winners are at the forefront in delivering excellence across all sectors of the industry, helping to raise the quality of customer service and quality across coach operators, destinations, visitor attractions and tourism industry suppliers.”