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Hospitality and Tourism

Tourism Business Case Studies

Report Segment: Southwold Pier

Southwold Pier

Stephen Bournes bought Southwold Pier in 2005 and has steadily built it up as a multi-faceted tourist attraction since then. As a seasoned hospitality professional, Stephen understands the sector (he managed Adnams Crown Hotel in Southwold for several years) and knows how to develop a tourism experience based on a range of income steams, including catering, retail and accommodation. At Southwold Pier, there are two restaurants, an amusement arcade, and several shops. In 2008 the Pier won East of England’s Enjoy Rural England - Best Tourism Experience 2008 and the following year it won two Tourism in Suffolk awards - Best Large Attraction and Outstanding Contribution to Tourism.

Southwold Pier employs 45 staff all year round – expanding to around 95 during the traditional tourist season. His staff all need to demonstrate a sense of urgency and the right attitude.

There are no split shifts and staff tend to be recruited locally wherever possible.

There are no concessions or franchises on the pier – everything on the Pier is owned and run as a private family business.

Although Stephen Bournes is keen on training his staff he is concerned that none of the colleges have ever approached him to find out more about the Pier, or to look at possible training collaborations.