Winchester joins the tourist information centre elite

Press Release: 10/08/2007

Winchester Tourism Information Centre

National tourism body VisitBritain has named Winchester’s award-wining tourist information centre (TIC) as one of its official partners in a new campaign to promote the TIC network.

The Enjoy England Official Partners programme is designed to identify centres that are keen and able to play their part in the national tourism industry and which excel in the services they offer to customers.

Winchester was chosen with just 19 other TICs in the south east, including the top visitor destinations of Brighton, Canterbury, Isle of Wight, Oxford and Windsor. The centre, which is housed in the city’s historic Guildhall and managed by Winchester City Council, handles over 230,000 personal enquiries each year from all corners of the globe and was named Tourist Information Centre of the Year in the national Enjoy England Awards for Excellence last year.

Over the coming months, customers will start to see the new Enjoy England Official Partner quality marque sign and window stickers appear alongside the existing ‘i’ logo. Official partner centres will benefit from access to national and international marketing through VisitBritain (online, WAP and print advertising). They will also receive enhanced training programmes for customer service and product knowledge, alongside ‘mystery shopper’ assessments.  And they will be able to take advantage of business development toolkits and Enjoy England point-of-sale and campaign materials.

Laurence Bresh, Enjoy England general manager, said: “The Official Partner programme recognises customers’ increasing demand for and expectations of quality, accuracy and excellence. We want to ensure that wherever visitors see the new marque, they will find expert information and tons of holiday inspiration.”

Alison Woods, Winchester City Council’s Tourist Information Centre Manager, who compiled the City Council’s successful submission for official partner status, added: “We pride ourselves on our professionalism in Winchester.  A ‘typical’ English summer like this one, first with floods and now a Foot and Mouth outbreak, needs a high quality, flexible response to ensure that customers have both the hard facts and the incentives they need to visit.”

Cllr George Beckett, leader of Winchester City Council and portfolio holder for economy and tourism, added:  “We are absolutely delighted that Winchester TIC has been chosen to be part of this programme. This further reinforces the message that a visit to our TIC promises a high quality experience.”

The tourist information centre is open from 9.30am to 5.30pm Monday to Saturday,   11am to 4pm on Sundays and 10am to 4pm on Bank Holiday Mondays and can be contacted on 01962 840 500 or e-mail: tourism@winchester.gov.uk or for further ideas on what to do during the holiday season visit our website at: www.visitwinchester.co.uk.