A second win for Winchester's TIC

Press Release: 18/10/2005

Cllr Therese Evans, TIC Manager Alison Woods and Angela Rippon at the awards ceremony

Winchester's tourist information centre has done it again. Twice in the last three years it has entered the regional Tourism ExSEllence awards and twice it has been named the best in the south east by the judges.

The latest win was announced by television personality Angela Rippon at a gala dinner last Thursday evening, who declared it Tourist Information Centre of the Year before an audience of industry colleagues and competitors.

Winchester Tourist Information Centre (TIC) is housed in the city's historic Guildhall and managed by Winchester City Council. It handles over 230,000 enquiries each year from all corners of the globe.

The judges said in their summary that it was "a brilliant place offering a wonderful atmosphere". Winchester's trophy and certificate were received by Tourist Information Centre Manager Alison Woods and Winchester City Council's Portfolio Holder for Culture, Heritage and Sport, Cllr Thérèse Evans.

These regional awards and the national competition to which they lead are known and recognised throughout the industry as the 'tourism Oscars' and were developed to encourage, recognise and honour outstanding achievement within all sectors of the tourism industry. Awards were made in 14 categories with the winners spread across the whole of the south east from Hampshire to Kent.

Alison Woods said: "We are absolutely delighted to win again. The judges praised the staff at the centre, who pride themselves in exceeding customer expectations. The award represents recognition for a great deal of hard work by both the tourist information centre and tourism marketing teams. We feel that to be winners twice in three years is a particularly impressive feat, particularly in so large a region."

As winners of the regional competition, Winchester Tourist Information Centre will now be entered into the VisitBritain ExSEllence in England national finals, the results of which will be announced on St George's Day, 23 April 2006.

Cllr Thérèse Evans, commented: "This is a much deserved award and I know that congratulations have been pouring in from all quarters. We are lucky to have so loyal and committed a team at our TIC. The TIC manager and staff really do provide an excellent visitor service and are always prepared to go that extra mile to help in every way. We are now looking forward to the national finals next spring".

The tourist information centre is open from 10am to 5pm Monday to Saturday and can be contacted on: 01962 840 500 or e-mail: tourism@winchester.gov.uk

It was also a successful night for other local tourism businesses: Marwell Zoological Park was runner up in the Tourism Website of the Year category; Signe Higgins, Visitor Assistant at the Westgate Museum (also run by Winchester City Council), was highly commended for Outstanding Customer Service and Milnthorpe holiday apartment was highly commended in the Self Catering Holiday of the Year section.