Tourism Experts Get Less-Than-Expert Service

Tourism experts, brought to Scilly this week to advise islanders on how to enhance the visitor experience, didn’t get the service they’d hope for.

Pam Foden of Visit England and staff from tourism consultants Blue Sail finished a networking session on Monday at 8.00pm.

But after the event, when they tried to dine in the town, they were told in two premises that as they were ten minutes late, they couldn’t get food.

Sophie Hughes of the Tourist Information Centre says she’s spoken to a number of businesses to encourage a more flexible approach, especially when a party of ten wants to place an order and a chef is still on site.

Manager of the Atlantic Inn, Barry Davey, says Sophie’s comments made sense to him.

He says he’s extended food orders to 8.30 pm, even though its quiet on the island at the moment and they’ll be available later when the season starts.

Sophie says, “It’s the start of the season in difficult economic times and I don’t think the food and beverage industry are immune to the pressures of falling visitor numbers, reduced spend and visitor demand for good-value imaginative cuisine.”

But she says she’d like to see greater focus on the old adage that ‘the customer is always right.’

She would like to think that food service ends when demand diminishes and not when the clock strikes 8pm.

Sophie says it highlighted the excellent service and customer focus shown by the Star Castle.

They stepped in to provide the party with a one-course menu at a moment’s notice, in their Dungeon Bar.

Assistant Manager Zoe Parry told us that they were delighted to help the visitors and she hopes that they’ll be back again.