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Poole Tourism Partnership says goodbye to its Chairman

Bruce Grant-Braham - Chairman PTMBBruce Grant-Braham, Chairman of the Poole Tourism Partnership has stepped down from the role.  In a career spanning more than 40 years, Bruce has played a principal role in developing Poole’s position as a leading UK holiday resort. 

In 1999, Bruce was part of the team who took pioneering steps with the Borough of Poole to create the Poole Tourism Management Board, an innovative partnership of Tourism businesses and the Council, working together to shape the development of Tourism in Poole. The ground breaking partnership is weighted firmly in favour of the industry with representatives from hotels, guest houses, attractions, watersports, transport, self-catering, caravan & camping, restaurants, Poole Town Centre, language schools and sponsors as well as local Councillors and acts as the main body for consultation on tourism issues. 

Since it’s inception in 1999, Bruce has been elected as the independent Chairman of the Poole Tourism Management Board.  With experience as an hotelier, local Poole Councillor and Senior Lecturer in Bournemouth University’s Tourism Faculty, Bruce has been uniquely placed to bring together a wide community to support and develop Poole’s Tourism industry.

Bruce, said; “It has been a privilege and a pleasure to be involved in Tourism in Poole but after 17 years as Chairman, it is time, though, to accept that the days of posting out printed brochures, that were the main focus when I first started in the 1980s, have well and truly gone and that the digital natives should now mastermind the projection of our beautiful resorts to a 21st century global audience.  I have thoroughly enjoyed working within such an innovative and exciting industry as Tourism and been fortunate to make many good friends throughout my time.” 

He added; “Poole Council was one of the first in the UK to give local Tourism businesses the major say in deciding on Tourism priorities for the town and how Tourism budgets should be spent. The benefits of this have been immense for Poole ensuring we punch well above our weight and provide fabulous facilities and special events. This is one of the best examples of the public and private sector working together and has now has been replicated across the UK.  I want to thank all the partners and the Council and wish the Partnership continued success in the future.”

With the creation of Destination Management Organisations, Poole’s approach has now become the norm with the industry working with local Councils to lead the way in developing the Tourism Industry as a major employer in the UK.

Under his Chairmanship, Poole has nurtured relationships with sponsors and developed a regular annual special events programme including fireworks and used his specialist knowledge of motorsports to bring the popular motor racing event Rallye Sunseeker to Poole.  As well as providing a strong voice on national tourism bodies and promoted joint working with Bournemouth and wider Dorsetas the portfolio holder for Tourism on the Dorset Local Enterprise Partnership and member of the National Coastal Tourism Academy.

In the interim Paul Dredge, Vice Chairman of the Poole Tourism Partnership will be taking on the role of Acting Chairman until elections for the role take place later this year.

Cllr Janet Walton, Leader of the Council, said: “Bruce has had an incredible influence on Tourism not only in Poole but across the wider region.  His experience working in the industry has meant he has the ability to see the direct influence decisions have on local businesses as well as the bigger picture and this has been crucial to developing key relationships that have benefited Poole.  Although he will be sorely missed, we wish him all the best for the future.”

Andrew Flockhart, Chief Executive of the Borough of Poole, said: “As a champion of Tourism in Poole, Bruce’s role has been central to shaping the superb partnership that exists between the industry and the Council.  Bruce’s passion for Poole and tourism across the conurbation has been exceptional.  We have been fortunate to have someone with his skills dedicated to this important local industry.”  

Paul Dredge, Acting Chairman, Poole Tourism Partnership, said: “Bruce’s expertise, drive and steady determination have been fundamental to developing the hugely supportive nature of Poole’s Tourism Partnership.  I know a lot of tourism businesses will miss both the professional and personal support he has offered throughout his time as Chairman.  We will miss his humour and personality and I would like to thank him on behalf of the Partnership and the Poole Tourism team for leaving us in such a strong position to look forward to the future.”

With a passion for tourism and in particular Poole,  Bruce served as Poole Borough Councillor from May 1976-May 1999 and was Mayor of Poole in 1994.

In October 1999 Bruce became Chairman at the inception of the Poole Tourism Panel which later became the Poole Tourism Management Board.  The Management Board includes an independent Chairman, 11 industry representatives and 5 Councillors from the Borough of Poole.  All industry representatives including the chairman are elected for a two year period.  New elections are held bi-annually.  For more information visit Poole Tourism Partnership.

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