As racecourses continue to demonstrate what an attractive day out they offer, the Racecourse Association (RCA) has revealed the top ten racecourses in England and Wales for visitor attraction and customer experience, as judged by VisitEngland, the country’s national tourist board. Racecourses were the first sporting attractions in the country to be assessed and promoted in this way.
The VisitEngland ‘Quality Assured Racecourse Scheme’ has seen racecourses across England and Wales independently assessed and marked on all aspects of the customer experience. These include pre-visit checks on the website and phone contact as well as a full assessment of the raceday facilities on offer. Listed alphabetically, rather than by ranking, Ascot, Cheltenham, Doncaster, Epsom Downs, Kempton Park, Newmarket, Sandown Park, Wincanton, Royal Windsor and York were named top ten in England and Wales for customer attraction by VisitEngland.
Now in its fourth year, the scheme offers racecourses one-on-one debriefs and a full written report on areas that work well and where improvements could be made, with a number of racecourses seeing continuous improvement in their scores over the course of the scheme.
In 2012, 54 racecourses in England and Wales were assessed with Ascot, Cheltenham, Doncaster, Epsom Downs, Kempton Park, Newmarket, Sandown Park, Wincanton, Windsor and York being named the top ten.
With the recent launch of the RCA Showcase & Awards 2013, racecourses are putting a lot of emphasis onto making sure they provide a rewarding and enjoyable experience to their customers.
RCA Racecourse Services Director Caroline Davies commented, ‘We are very pleased to be able to announce the results of this scheme and congratulate the racecourses that scored consistently high marks with the VisitEngland assessors.’
‘The fact that both large and small racecourses have made the top ten is testament to the fact that all racecourses can offer an excellent customer experience. Providing a first class customer experience is very important to racecourses, as highlighted by the RCA Showcase & Awards. The detailed assessment and feedback from VisitEngland has been invaluable in allowing racecourses to improve in these areas’.
Janet Uttley, Head of Industry Engagement at VisitEngland said, ‘The VisitEngland Quality Assurance Scheme for Racecourses is a benchmark of quality, all racecourses in the scheme have worked hard to improve their welcome and have rightly earned their Quality Rose Marque to show how important the experience of their customers is to them. Assessors working with the racecourses have seen significant improvements to the way in which Britain’s second-biggest spectator sport delivers excellent standards of customer service and high-quality racing to seasoned race-goers and newcomers alike.’
For more information on the VisitEngland ‘Quality Assured Racecourse Scheme’ or RCA Showcase & Awards, please contact Sam Cone or Holly Cook at the RCA on 01344 626067.