Dorset Ambassador County Module

What you need to know about Dorset

Dorset has a stunning coastline, attractive rural landscapes, lively seaside resorts, fascinating towns and villages, a huge variety of visitor attractions and great opportunities for sport and active leisure.  Because Dorset is relatively near to large centres of population (such as Exeter, London and Bristol for example) it is a popular tourist destination year round.

Although famous for its countryside and scenery, Dorset includes many popular coastal resorts (Bournemouth, Poole, Swanage, Weymouth, Lyme Regis.….) and many pretty county towns (Blandford, Shaftesbury, Wimborne…)

It also has the Jurassic Coast, England’s first natural world heritage and a big attraction for visitors.  Dorset’s coast is a fossil treasure-trove and recognisable from such landmarks as the rock arch at Durdle Door, the crescent-shaped Lulworth Cove and the dramatic cliffs at West Bay.

Dorset  is well known as the home of the famous Victorian author Thomas Hardy;  as the location for  the Hovis advert, filmed at Gold Hill in Shaftesbury and more recently the setting  for the popular television series Broadchurch.

If you were ever a Rainbow, Beaver, Brownie, Cub Scout, Scout or Girl Guide, Dorset is the home of the Scouting Movement, founded by Baden Powell on Brownsea Island in the middle of Poole Harbour.

And here are some things you may not know!

Did You Know that Dorset….?

Has no motorways
Has its own flag
Has the world’s second largest, and Europe’s biggest natural harbour at Poole
Produces its own vodka – Black Cow Vodka
Has the country’s only green telephone box in Okeford Fitzpaine
Is the source of Portland stone, from which many London buildings are made
Grows the Dorset Naga – the hottest chilli in the World

So who comes to Dorset?

In 2013 there were nearly 30 million visitors to Dorset, contributing an estimated £2.5 billion to the local economy.  Most of these were day visitors (26.3m) but 3.5m stayed overnight in hotels, guest houses, and self-catering accommodation including camping and caravan parks.

If you work in one of these, have you ever asked, or even overheard customers talking about why they like Dorset?  Surveys have shown that the countryside and dramatic coastline are the main draw for visitors to Dorset.

Why do Visitors come to Dorset

Your customer care skills, including confidence in knowing about the local area so that you can pass information on to visitors, makes these visitors feel welcome so that they come back, recommend to others and spend more money while they are here.  So it is good that you know the information to tell them!  (the good news is that most visitors have been before and many come back year after year, so it does work).

So what do you know about the Dorset landscape? The next lesson will tell you more.