Tom’s bid for resort to be family friendly

Family drive: Hotels are being urged to get family friendly. 'Below, Tom Metcalf of Little Touches

Family drive: Hotels are being urged to get family friendly. 'Below, Tom Metcalf of Little Touches

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Hotels and businesses on the Fylde coast are being urged to show off their family friendly credentials in a bid to boost business.

Local businessman Tom Metcalf, from the Little Touches hotels consultancy, has teamed up with the Approved Family Friendly award scheme to become their representative for the north.

Tom Metcalf

Tom Metcalf

He said the scheme, which has already been approved by Visit Blackpool, sends a clear message to holidaymaker families that an establishment is geared up to catering for families.

Tom, whose company was one of the Logolight sponsoers of the Illuminations, said since its launch in 2011 it has helped improve bookings and customer numbers.

He said: “Visit Blackpool took it up two years ago following on from Visit Cornwall and it ties in nicely with the drive to win back Blackpool’s image as a family friendly resort and not just somewhere that stags and hens go.

“We are now putting a bit of force behind it in the area as it has been successful in the South of England.

“When planning a day out with the kids or an annual family holiday its easy to recognise sign gives parents peace of mind when choosing where to go.

“Approved Family Friendly should be an establishment’s first port of call if they want to demonstrate commitment to serving the family market.

“Little Touches are thrilled to be able to offer such a scheme to our existing and new clients, which is highly complementary to what we do, albeit distinctive and special in its own right.”

He said the scheme’s founder, Jane Hancox, is a wife and working mum of two and her experiences as a parent travelling around the UK has made her passionate about improving services in Britain.

She said: “It’s important that businesses know why excelling with children in mind is the way forward.

“We follow quality marks for everything so why not family friendly places?

“It’s great to just look out for the sign with confidence which is especially useful if you’re on holiday.”

Requirements for accommodation providers include non-smoking family rooms, and non acceptance of stag and hen parties. Attractions must provide services such as bottle warming, breastfeeding welcome and an information point and food outlets need to include facilities such as baby changing, high chairs and children’s menus.