FalRiver Cornwall

”He can be relied upon to see things differently, is not at all afraid of challenging the norms and has helped us increase profits.

How it started

When I sold my fast water taxi business I was approached at a ceremony where we won the ‘Best Promotion and Innovation’ award. The man that approached me was called Tim Light, part owner of and MD of the King Harry Ferry. The council had just built a 500 space car park on the outskirts of Falmouth where they were to operate a seasonal park and ride/float scheme and were looking for businesses to tender to run the operation. Tim asked if I wanted to come and write the tender, and said that if we won I would get the job managing it. We won the tender and just a few months later we were operating a double-decker bus and two 7-seater ferries into Falmouth, 7 days a week. We went on to acquire other ferry businesses on the river and by the time I left ten years later, we were carrying 1.5 million passengers a year.

What I did

When we started out our marketing consisted of a few thousand printed ferry leaflets with our timetable and prices in. We soon realised this was not going to give us the growth in passenger numbers that we needed and set about an ambitious, and ultimately very successful, project to collectively become the most popular visitor destination in Cornwall. FalRiver was a new brand we launched that promised ‘a great day out on the river’. We promoted all the gardens, attractions, walks, pubs and beaches around the river, and our network of ferries as the way to get around them. Alongside this, we offered customers a travel and attraction pass that gave them unlimited hop-on, hop-off travel around the river as well as entry to all the attractions and castles.

By the time I left ten years later, the team and I had developed the largest private sector DMO in the UK, launched what I still believe is one of the only multimodal travel cards of it’s type in the UK, built up a network of over a hundred paying partners around the river, printed 130,000 copies of a free area guidebook annually, created a very successful website, an integrated ticketing portal and were carrying 1.5 million passengers a year.

You can read the full story here.

Since I left several years ago I have been asked back several times to project manage the launch of some new products and systems.

I have worked with Toby over a protracted period and have found him to generate both creative energy and good attention to detail that has helped us increase profits.

He can be relied upon to see things differently, is not at all afraid of challenging the norms and provides good decision making assumptions.

A thoroughly likable man who can be trusted to get the task done.

— Tim Light, Fal River Cornwall