BOURNEMOUTH residents are being urged to share their favourite images of the town as part of a campaign to encourage more visitors.

The town’s National Coastal Tourism Academy wants people to reveal the town’s hidden gems by posting pictures of the places they love.

It wants people to upload images to the website to create a “unique neighbourhood guide”.

Whether it’s a particular tree in the Middle Gardens, a favourite view from a seafront bench, a perfect cycle track or secluded patch of sand for a picnic, the academy says it wants to highlight the resort’s “unsung” areas.

Samantha Richardson, director of the academy, said: “We know Bournemouth is the south coast’s top tourist destination. It attracts millions of tourists each year and ploughs some £479million into the town’s economy.

“We also know that more than 70 per cent of those tourists visit the beach, but a key reason many visitors come to Bournemouth is to visit friends and family. “We have a population of more than 180,000. If each resident invited one person, it would have an enormous long-term impact on jobs and the town’s economic fortunes. “An increase in visitors doesn’t only affect hotels, restaurants and tourist attractions. It affects hair-dressers, garages, supermarkets and every other business with which they engage.

“Bournemouth is an enormously popular place to live and in the new website we’d like to provide a gallery of those hidden gems that visitors might never have seen.

“Bournemouth residents have a reputation for being welcoming and friendly, it’s one of the reasons the town is such a successful resort. We’re hoping this gallery will add a new dimension to that welcome,” she added.