Fawlty advises Norfolk seaside hoteliers

Basil Fawlty, the world's rudest hotel owner, is perhaps not the first person to spring to mind to help promote north Norfolk tourism.With his hatred of foreigners, constant belittling of guests and bullying of Manuel the waiter, John Cleese's comic creation is a perfect example of how not to run a guesthouse or hotel.

Basil Fawlty, the world's rudest hotel owner, is perhaps not the first person to spring to mind to help promote north Norfolk tourism.

With his hatred of foreigners, constant belittling of guests and bullying of Manuel the waiter, John Cleese's comic creation is a perfect example of how not to run a guesthouse or hotel.

For this reason, the iconic 1970s TV comedy character was used yesterday to show how holidaymakers will no longer put up with being regarded as a necessary burden but demand a first-class 21st-century service.

The surprise appearance of Mr Fawlty - played by comedian Peter Piper - at the launch of the North Norfolk Tourism Round Table at the Burlington Hotel, Shering-ham, was a reminder that excellent customer service and quality establishments are vital to the future of the district's holiday industry.


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The new forum will be developing a fresh tourism strategy for the area, which relies on holidaymakers pumping in nearly £½bn a year into the local economy, creating 7,100 jobs.

As part of the North Norfolk Business Forum, the round table will be holding a series of open days with tourism and leisure bosses to formulate policy, which will include business advice, staff training opportunities and promoting the district.

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Noel Gant, the mayor of Sheringham, said his home town, a past Mecca for the rich, was a prime example of how holiday resorts must not sit back on their laurels but adapt with the changing trends of holidaymakers.

Mr Gant said: “We must be more aware that families no longer just need arcades, fish and chips or donkey rides to cater for their children.”

Ian Russell, director of Wroxham Barns, said: “During the busy summer season we do not get the opportunity to all meet up to share ideas about improving the way we promote ourselves.”

At the launch, Ian Doughty, chairman of the business forum, announced that from next year the round table group would be taking over running the annual A Day Out in North Norfolk tourism sector event.

The next drop-in sessions of the round table are at: North Walsham Community Centre, September 11; Merchants' Place, Cromer, September 13; Stalham Town Hall, September 18; the Maltings, Wells, September 20; Holt Community Centre, September 24; and Fakenham Racecourse, October 24.

For information about the sessions or the round table, call 01263 826171 or visit www.nnbf.org

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