Christmas Tree Wonderland scoops Best Event of the Year

Bournemouth has scooped the Best Event of the Year Award at the Association of Town and City Management Awards 2019. The announcement was made on 26 June at a gala award ceremony, held in London and attended by hundreds of town and city management professionals, celebrating best practice across the UK and Ireland. 


Launched for the very first time in November 2018, Christmas Tree Wonderland created a free trail of over 100 dazzling trees and quickly established itself as the must-see winter attraction in the south.  A UK first, the project was delivered through an innovative partnership between the town’s Business Improvement Districts (BIDs) and the Council and won against strong competition. 

The unrivalled visitor experience, complete with a 60ft centre piece walk-through tree decorated with 30,000 LED lights, created footfall of over 3.3million in the town centre over the six-week duration of the event. In addition to the core offer in the centre of the resort, the BIDs created magical experiences across the town and coastal villages of Westbourne, Southbourne and Boscombe.

Martin Davies, Bournemouth Town Centre BID Chair, said: “It’s a fantastic achievement for Bournemouth and a clear demonstration of what can be achieved through real partnership working. We ‘dreamt big’ and made it happen – incredibly proud of our town.”

Paul Clarke, Coastal BID Chairman, said: “Without a doubt Christmas Tree Wonderland well and truly put Bournemouth on the map as a year-round destination. The success achieved has been beyond all expectations and the whole team are thrilled with the result.”

David Squire, Yellow Buses Managing Director, said: “As the exclusive headline transport sponsor for the 4 years of Christmas Tree Wonderland, we are absolutely delighted with the recognition that this award brings to both the event and our town. Christmas Tree Wonderland is truly amazing and has generated positive feedback from both visitors and local businesses, we are proud to be associated with this event as Bournemouth’s local bus company.”

David Bailey Chairman of the Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Destination Management Board said: “In its first year Christmas Tree Wonderland has become a major player as a Christmas destination in the UK, boosting the town’s superb offer in a year that saw unprecedented visitor numbers, record-breaking media coverage and monumental new attractions in the South Coast resort. This is fantastic news for businesses and residents across the resort and we can only see the area going from strength to strength.”

Jon Weaver, Head of Resort Marketing and Events for BCP Tourism, said: “It’s wonderful to have delivered such an inspirational, high profile and successful event in its first year. This is down to the fantastic partnership between the Bournemouth Town Centre and Coastal BIDs and the BCP Events and Tourism Marketing team. My thanks especially go to Helen Wildman for her wealth of experience in taking an idea and creating such a fabulous event and Nicola Goode and the Marketing and PR team for capturing and creating the feel-good buzz that really excited visitors and meant people returned time and again to share the experience with their families and friends.”

Christmas Tree Wonderland will return 15 November 2019 to 2 January 2020, visit for more information.