Proven Success for Winchester Visitor Guide

Visitors to Winchester are spending more and staying longer, thanks to an annual visitor guide published by Winchester City Council's tourism team. Those were the findings of a recent research study commissioned by the Council in an attempt to evaluate the impact of the Winchester Visitor Guide, the 2007 edition of which appeared last week.

An impressive 72% of visitors surveyed said they had decided to visit Winchester after reading the visitor guide, which combines high-quality photography, lively editorial and sophisticated design to present the city and surrounding countryside at their very best. The guide has been admired for its magazine-style format, which encourages short break visits through a series of inspirational features highlighting the district's wide-ranging appeal.  The research showed that this winning approach prompted 69% of respondents to extend their stay in the area and 77% to include more activities than they had originally planned in their visit, thus generating increased visitor spend for the local economy.

The guide regularly receives the highest compliments from visitors and tourism industry colleagues, and is the keystone of Winchester City Council's tourism marketing activities alongside its official visitor website  45,000 copies are printed and distributed direct from the city's award-winning tourist information centre.

Winchester City Council's tourism marketing manager, Karen Brazier, said, "We're delighted to see that the visitor guide is having such a positive impact on the volume and value of visits to the district. It has gone from strength to strength since we updated our marketing image three years ago and has been held up by the national tourism body VisitBritain as an example of best practice in tourism marketing."

Cllr George Beckett, leader of Winchester City Council and portfolio holder for economy and tourism, said, "Staying visits are worth around £52 million annually to the local visitor economy and I'm pleased to see that Winchester City Council's visitor guide is playing an important part in reaching this lucrative market. The return on investment is set to become even more impressive in 2007 as this year's guide has cost local taxpayers nothing to produce.  This is thanks to a record amount of advertising support from local businesses who clearly value it as a great way to target customers."

Free copies of the Winchester Visitor Guide are available on request from Winchester Tourist Information Centre on the ground floor of Winchester Guildhall; telephone 01962 840 500, e-mail or go to