The Racecourse Association (RCA) has today announced Ascot Racecourse in the top 10 racecourses in England and Wales for visitor attraction, as assessed by VisitEngland.
Entering its fifth year, VisitEngland’s Quality Assured Racecourse Scheme continues to offer a guarantee for customers of the quality of the visitor attraction on racecourses in England and Wales through their independent assessment.
Racecourses are assessed over a number of criteria, including the efficiency and friendliness of their customer service and the availability and cleanliness of facilities. 2013 saw VisitEngland including Owners’ and Trainers facilities in their assessments for the first time, which is reflected in each racecourses overall score.
“This recognition is testament to the remarkable efforts our staff, both permanent and temporary, put into making every customer’s visit to Ascot a special one," commented Ascot Racecourse chief executive Charles Barnett.
Alongisde Ascot the other racecourses that scored the highest marks in the VisitEngland assessments in 2013 are, in alphabetical order, Doncaster, Epsom Downs, Exeter, Newmarket, Wincanton, Royal Windsor, York and newcomers to the top 10, Plumpton and Salisbury.
The Scheme continues for 2014 and will see some slight developments to the previous arrangements which will bring racecourse assessment in line with other attractions assessed by VisitEngland. It will also see the introduction of accolades which are individual awards that represent excellence in specific areas of the assessment. These will include:
"We are delighted to be able to continue our partnership with VisitEngland to offer customers a guarantee of quality when they visit British racecourses," said RCA Racecourse Services Director, Caroline Davies.
"This scheme, along with the one run by VisitScotland makes sure that racecourses are able to get constructive feedback which they can use to help them identify their strengths as well as areas that may need improvement.
"The variety in the racecourses that have made the top ten in 2013 is testament to the idea that you don’t need to be a big racecourse to offer a top quality visitor attraction and we believe the changes that we have made to the VAQAS scheme in 2014 will only go to help racecourses achieve even more in this area."