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14.02.03      
Newquay hoteliers set to benefit from £3.7 million honey pot

From left: Carleen Kelemen and Ruth Vincent at the launchNewquay, Cornwall's premier resort, is to invest £3.7 million improving the standard of its hotel accommodation to cater for increasingly discerning visitors lured by stunning beaches, world-class attractions and top-class restaurants.

The resort, traditionally known as one of Britain's ultimate bucket and spade destinations, is smartening up its act to take advantage of what has been called the Cornish 'economic renaissance'.

Newquay's proximity to the world-famous Eden Project, together with the daily Ryanair service from Stansted to Newquay Airport and Cornwall's growing reputation for fine food – Rick Stein is intending to open a restaurant in Newquay - have put the resort within striking distance of an increasingly demanding clientele that expects superior service and quality.

From Friday February 14 hoteliers in the resort can apply to join Honey – Hotels of Newquay Enhance Yourself – giving them access to a raft of business advice and practical support, plus grants of up to £30,000 to improve the fabric of their hotels.

The scheme is the brainchild of private company Newquay for Excellence Training and Restormel Borough Council, and is being backed by £1.3 million of European funding from the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Objective One Programme.

Honey members will be offered one-to-one mentoring to improve all aspects of their business and the customer experience, from booking right through to departure, and over a three year period will work towards achieving or improving a National Quality Assurance Standard (NQAS).

The scheme is being closely monitored by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport as a model for improving standards of hotel accommodation and service, contributing to the regeneration of seaside towns.

Ruth Vincent, director of Newquay for Excellence Training, said: "Newquay is one of the UK's leading resorts and Cornwall's most important, which is why this package is aimed at Newquay hoteliers.

"We have 40% of Cornwall's serviced bed accommodation, and 27% of staying visitors to Cornwall choose to stay here, but the market is changing. People are coming as much for the culture and the food as they are the beaches, and we have to move with them.

"With support from Objective One, Honey is creating the opportunity for Newquay hoteliers to raise the overall quality of their product, and that in turn will bring them greater rewards. Cornwall is an increasingly desirable locationand it's getting easier to get here all the time.

"People expect and will pay for quality. Our aim is to help our hoteliers deliver what the customer wants so they continue their love affair with Cornwall and Newquay – it's no accident that Honey is being launched on Valentine's Day!"

Carleen Kelemen, Objective One Programme Director said: "Objective One is about investing in improving conditions for businesses to flourish. We encourage innovative projects that aim to improve business performance by investing in training and accessible expert advice. This is why we have invested in Honey. It provides a tailor-made vehicle for the hotels of Newquay. The project is demand- led and provides these businesses with the support they need."

Businesses joining Honey pay a one-off fee of £750, which can be spread to be equivalent to 70p per day over the three-year programme.

Membership gives them unlimited access to a one-to-one business mentor who will help them improve across five key areas: marketing, guest service, support systems, pricing strategy and the physical environment.

Members will be invited to regular events covering each of the disciplines and hosted by experts in each field. They will also have access to professionals in particular areas, ranging from interior design to children's menus.

One local hotelier who already intends to join Honey is Ray Newton, who runs the 50-bedroomed 3 star Hotel Riviera with stunning views above Lusty Glaze Beach.

Ray said: "This is excellent news and will be a godsend to hoteliers in Newquay because it's tailor-made for individual businesses. The five disciplines have been very well thought out and the value of having a one-to-one business mentor is priceless."

Business mentoring is being provided by Chris Wikeley, former head of quality assurance at South West Tourism (previously known as the Westcountry Tourist Board). Chris has a lifetime's experience in the hotels sector and is being employed full-time by Honey.

Through participating in Honey, a capital grant of up to £30,000 can also be applied for to support the three-year development programme.

Malcolm Bell, chief executive of South West Tourism, is backing the scheme. He said: "Newquay is of huge importance to Cornwall's whole tourism economy which is why Honey will be so significant. The difference with this scheme is its thorough approach to quality, backed up with capital grants where necessary, to deliver a complete package that is demand-led.

"Few people know the business as well as Chris, and he was one of the main drivers towards a harmonised National Quality Assurance Standard for serviced accommodation. I'm sure Honey members will find his input invaluable."

Honey was officially launched at Finns Restaurant in Newquay Harbour on February 14. Hoteliers who want to know more about joining Honey should call 01637 871067.

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Editor's notes:

Honey will be officially launched on Friday, February 14 at Finns Restaurant on Newquay Harbour between 12pm and 2pm. The media are invited to attend.

Media wishing to conduct interviews in advance can contact Ruth Vincent at Newquay for Excellence on 01637 871067.

Ray Newton, proprietor of Newquay's Hotel Riviera, is also available for interview by calling 01637 874251.

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Jason Clark
Communications Manager
Objective One Partnership Office
Castle House
Pydar Street
Truro TR1 2UD
Tel: 01872 241379
Fax: 01872 241388

jason@dclark.co.uk

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