Council launches new tourism house style and 2004 visitor guide

Winchester City Council’s new visitor guide was launched to widespread acclaim on Tuesday (2 December) at Winchester Cathedral’s Paul Woodhouse Suite.

The 2004 Winchester Visitor Guide heralds the beginning of a new era for the City Council’s tourism service. After almost a decade of producing marketing materials in a similar style, the guide is the first publication to adopt Winchester Tourism’s new house style, which has been developed after many months of careful consultation and preparation.

Local tourism providers, City Councillors and parish councils – many of whom had been involved in the consultation process – were among the first to see the new look, which combines eye-catching photography, bold colours and lively editorial with a new strapline, ‘Explore every inch’ – a clever play on the word ‘Winchester’. It is hoped that this new approach will encourage more visitors to spend longer in the District, and take time to discover its hidden treasures.

The keystone of the City Council’s tourism marketing activities, the guide itself was described by guest speaker Robin Hutson – founder of the celebrated Hotel du Vin chain – as a breath of fresh air for Winchester. Some 50,000 copies have been printed and will be distributed direct from the Tourist Information Centre, via VisitBritain offices worldwide and through Tourism South East promotional campaigns.

While the main purpose of the afternoon was to explain the marketing image review process and to launch the visitor guide, the event also served to bring together local tourism providers for some early festive cheer. Entertainment was provided in the form of Hatstand Opera, led by former Winchester resident Kirsty Young, who captivated guests with some musical interludes on a Winchester theme during the course of the afternoon.

Invitees also had the opportunity to sample some of the District’s finest local produce courtesy of the Itchen Valley Brewery in Alresford and the Sheep and Ostrich Company in Wickham.

Local tourism businesses were unanimous in their praise for the new house style. Heather Moore, Marketing and Promotions Officer at Marwell Zoological Park, said: "I would like to congratulate the Winchester Tourism team for the excellent and very entertaining launch. The new image is extremely strong and I am sure that it will really help to lift the Winchester brand to new heights in 2004 and beyond. The new strapline is inspired and I look forward to seeing it on many more publications in the future."

John Richardson, General Manager of the city’s Macdonald Wessex Hotel, added: "I am pleased to see such a fresh new approach to the promotion of Winchester. The current tourism climate is a difficult one for historic cities such as ours, in the wake of recent world events and increasing competition. I’m certain that this new marketing image will really help to spread the word that Winchester is a wonderful place to visit."

Others who had previously expressed concern at the decision to change Winchester Tourism’s marketing image were relieved to see that the new guide still reflects the city they know.

Tricia Simpkin of Mallard Cottage Bed and Breakfast said: "I was a little unsure when I first heard that Winchester Tourism were planning a change of tack but this new guide has real class. The photography in particular is brilliant - it’s wonderful to see vibrant images of people enjoying our beautiful city."

Cllr Therese Evans, Winchester City Council’s Portfolio Holder for Community Services and chair of the event, added: "I am delighted that the new guide has met with so many positive comments. The launch was the culmination of many months of hard work and it is rewarding to know that our local tourism businesses support Winchester Tourism’s new house style. Ours is a wonderful District, with much to offer those who visit. We are confident that the new guide will help us to spread this message as widely as possible."

If you would like to see the new guide, pop into Winchester Tourist Information Centre on Broadway, call 01962 840500 or e-mail