Winchester wins GoldStaff of Winchester City Council's tourism service are celebrating after last night's success at the national Enjoy England Awards for Excellence 2006, when Winchester won the gold award in the Tourist Information Centre of the Year category.
The ceremony was hosted by writer and broadcaster Sandi Toksvig and held at one of London's most famous attractions, Madame Tussaud's. Organised by the official UK tourism body, VisitBritain, and sponsored by the Caravan Club, the awards are fiercely contested and recognised throughout the industry as the 'tourism Oscars'. HRH The Duke of Gloucester, guest of honour at the awards ceremony, said: "The Enjoy England Awards for Excellence highlight the very best England has to offer." Awards were made in 14 categories with the winners spread across the whole of the country.
Winchester TIC was selected by a board of tourism industry experts including Nick Cust, Joint Managing Director of Superbreaks, and Lorna Cowan, Editor of Holiday Which? The judges said in their summary that Winchester TIC was a vibrant office with supportive staff and an innovative approach.
Winchester City Council's Tourist Information Centre Manager Alison Woods said, "To come first out of over 500 TICs in the whole country is no mean feat. I feel that what really sets Winchester apart is that we provide a very joined up service, working closely with the tourism marketing unit and local tourism businesses to make the visitor welcome here warm and memorable."
Cllr Thérèse Evans, Portfolio Holder for Culture, Heritage and Sport, commented, "This is wonderful news and very well deserved by all the staff. We are absolutely thrilled that the excellent TIC in Winchester has been recognised nationally. With so much media coverage around these awards, the TIC's great performance will help to put Winchester in the national spotlight once again."
Eloise Appleby, Head of Cultural Services for Winchester City Council, added, "We believe in high standards for the tourism industry of the Winchester District, and this award is proof that the City Council is leading by example. The staff have worked really hard to win this accolade, and I hope that local people who have never visited the TIC will take this opportunity to come and find out what we offer for residents as well as visitors."
Winchester 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 team pride themselves on exceeding customer expectations and continuously developing the range of services offered.
The centre is open from 10am to 5pm Monday to Saturday and can be contacted on: 01962 840 500 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org or via the website at www.visitwinchester.co.uk