Students probe city’s tourism potential

Milton Keynes concrete cows taken early 2000s'''Wk 23 June 2009
Milton Keynes concrete cows taken early 2000s'''Wk 23 June 2009

The potential of Milton Keynes as a tourist destination is being explored by students at the University of Bedfordshire.

A new partnership between the Junior Research Institute for Tourism (jRIT) and tourism provider for the city, Destination Milton Keynes, will see students look at how the tourism potential and infrastructure can be enhanced to help entice more visitors.

A workshop was held at the University’s Luton campus on Monday (Feb 11) to discuss the issues.

Jason Freezer, head of destination management at VisitEngland, spoke about the economic benefits of promoting and developing tourism across the country through use of Destination Management Plans (DMPs). A DMP is a shared statement of intent involving businesses, local residents and public bodies to manage, develop and promote a destination over a stated period of time.

Mr Freezer cited recent success stories in County Durham and Manchester where DMPs led to greater economic benefits in local tourism through improved visitor satisfaction rates and re-visitor rates at some attractions.

The workshop was also attended by Jackie Inskipp, director and general manager at Destination Milton Keynes, as well as senior academics from the University’s Business School along with the 10 undergraduate, masters, PhD Tourism students and alumni, who are working on the project.

The students are expected to report findings and recommendations to Destination Milton Keynes in the summer.

jRIT is a pioneering programme open to students studying tourism, hospitality or events. Students and alumni have the chance to engage in real life research and practise. The Milton Keynes project is the latest in a series that the university’s tourism students has been involved with over the past three years and follows a successful project carried out for English Heritage-managed Wrest Park, in Bedfordshire, in 2012.

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