British Marine, the Passenger Boat Association and VisitEngland have established the VisitEngland Passenger Boat
What is the Scheme?
The Scheme stemmed from VisitEngland’s Visitor Attraction Quality Scheme, which is the biggest scheme in England. It is not mandatory to be part of the Passenger Boat Quality Scheme, but it offers passenger boat companies the opportunity to gain accreditation from VisitEngland, the official tourist board for England.
Vicky Howell, VisitEngland Quality Schemes Executive, explains why companies should consider gaining the accreditation: “The VisitEngland rosette is a quality mark and shows the public that they are a recognised business that delivers a great day out for visitors.”
What does the assessment involve?
A professional VisitEngland assessor marks the whole visitor experience, from purchasing tickets and visiting the company’s website, to taking a trip on the passenger boat. The assessor notes down any interaction they have with members of staff encountered at any point in the process.
Once the assessment has finished, the assessor will write a report and meet with someone from the company to discuss their findings. Vicky explains why this is of such benefit: “They receive tailored advice and support from the assessor, so they can see areas for improvement and find out from a third party’s perspective, things they may not have thought of, being so close to the business.”
How can it benefit my business?
British Marine member Hobbs of Henley is one such company that has received the Passenger Boat Quality Scheme accreditation.
Kim Clifford, General Manager, explains why the business decided to obtain it: “We wanted people to know that our boats and service are of a high standard. The rosette helps us because people see the rosette on all of our passenger boats and on the outside of our office showing that we have been awarded because we operate at high standards.”
Companies successful in gaining the accreditation receive a physical plaque to display on their passenger boat as well as use of the logo for their website.
Participating passenger boats will also have access to the assessor’s in-depth knowledge and experience of the tourism industry. VisitEngland assessors are trained to provide support and advice on specific topics such as how to manage online reviews, how to make the most of social media and how to ensure staff deliver the best customer service possible.
How do I apply?
British Marine members can log in to MyBritishMarine via britishmarine.co.uk and download the Scheme’s application form and fee scale, or email PassengerBoats@visitengland.org
Download the Application form for the Quality Award Scheme
Download the Fee Scale for the Quality Award Scheme
Please return all forms to VistEngland to the following address:
VisitEngland, Sanctuary Buildings, 20 Great Smith Street, London, SW1P 3BT