VisitEngland, the country’s national tourist board has set up the first quality scheme in the country for sport. The VisitEngland Quality Assured Racecourse Scheme will assess 55 racecourses between now and November.
Horseracing is the first sport to be quality assessed in this way.
In partnership with Racing for Change, the organisation charged with broadening the appeal of horseracing, VisitEngland will send independent assessors to racecourses around the country. Areas under assessment will include pre-arrival information, the website, journey planning, signage, welcome on arrival, the actual sporting event, toilets, catering and retail outlets. Having completed a full assessment, racecourses will be awarded a VisitEngland plaque illustrated by the organisation’s red rose logo.
While enjoying a day at Goodwood races, Lady Cobham, Chairman VisitEngland said: “We know 59 per cent of Brits feel they don’t make the best use of their time. A day at the races is just one of the many wonderful sporting experiences on offer in England that can be enjoyed not only by dedicated fans of the sport but by anyone looking for a thrilling day out.”
In addition to hosting the London 2012 Olympic & Paralympic Games, England is set to enjoy a decade of sport with major sporting championships on the horizon such as Cricket World Cup, Rugby League World Cup and a host of other events including major tennis, athletics and equestrian events.
Jon Williams of Racing for Change said: "We want to make racegoing an experience to be enjoyed by all racegoers including families, who may not have previously considered a day at the races as a family friendly outing. The VisitEngland Quality Assured plaque will act as a stamp of approval showing visitors that a day’s racing is a quality experience and great value for money.”
Top jockey, Frankie Dettori, commented: "This is a brilliant idea. Anything that encourages more people to come racing has to be good for the sport. We have some of the best racing in the world, 52 weeks a year, so why not come and see me in action!’’