A BUSINESS improvement district has funded 50,000 guides to encourage tourists to venture “beyond the beach”.

Bournemouth Coastal Business Improvement District (BID) has paid for extra copies of the booklets, which are produced by BCP Council to encourage visitors to try places away from the main centres and beaches.

The Coastal BID – which represents coastal areas from Westbourne to Hengistbury Head – paid for copies which it will deliver to its hotel and hospitality businesses.

BID chairman Paul Clarke said: “This guide was produced in partnership with the council and it’s important to get it into as many visitors’ hands as possible.

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“We funded 50,000 extra copies because there are many levy-paying hospitality businesses which can offer these to their guests.

“The booklets come wrapped in a biodegradable bag to ensure that they are Covid safe.

“Our area runs from Hengistbury Head to Westbourne and there are so many places to visit and things to do that are not always known about – even by locals. And it is these places that really need help to recover after the lockdowns.

“For example, Hengistbury Head, Tuckton, Southbourne, Pokesdown and Westbourne boast an eclectic mix of things to visit, such as antiques and retro shops, eateries, coastal walks, gardens and even Britain’s smallest cinema.

“We are anticipating a busy season, especially if restrictions are lifted as planned, and after a year of tough trading conditions we must help our levy-payers and the BCP area take as much as they can.

“Hospitality, catering, leisure and retail have really suffered, but there is light at the end of the tunnel now and the Coastal BID is determined to help local businesses make the most of it,” he added.

The Coastal BID is paid for by a levy based on local businesses’ rateable value, with 760 businesses eligible to pay. Its levy-payers have a total rateable value of £30million.

The 1.5 per cent levy generates around £466,000 a year, to which the BID adds voluntary contributions and match funding for key projects.

The guide can be found online at online.fliphtml5.com/rorkm/sywa/#p=1