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.