Winchester Tourist Information Centre attracts international attention

Press Release: 22/11/2011

Cllr George Becket greets representatives of the Japanese Tourism Agency

Following this year’s Enjoy England award for the best Tourist Information Service (TIC) in England, Winchester TIC is now helping other countries develop new models for their tourist information centres. A recent visit from representatives of the Japanese Tourism Agency allowed Winchester TIC to offer advice and information on the network of TICs in England and best practice regarding customer care and provision of information.

Sarah Harfield, TIC Team Leader said ‘We were really pleased to be able to share our knowledge and experience of the industry with Ms Aki Iwasaki from the Tokyo-based agency.  We learned that there is little national coherence for tourism in Japan:  they were interested to hear about the ways our national agencies celebrate best practice and offer various standards against which various sectors of the tourism industry can be measured. The research is also being conducted in the London offices of Visit Britain and in the national tourism authorities of New Zealand and France, but the Japanese officials also wished to speak to ‘the best TIC in England. ’

Cllr Becket, Leader of Winchester City Council greeted the representatives from Japan and added, ‘The efforts of the team in Winchester Tourist Information Centre to deliver first class customer service mean that the District is consistently outperforming other destinations locally and nationally in the way the tourism industry is supported.  It is good to be able to note in these difficult times that marketing and PR efforts have led to an increase of £6.9m spend by visitors locally over three years, it is a timely reminder that the commitment and enthusiasm of the tourism team can have far reaching positive impacts on our reputation.’

Winchester TIC is also arranging a visit from a Swedish tourism manager in the New Year who is keen to come to England to see how tourism services are delivered throughout the country.

Pop in and experience the award-winning service for yourself. The tourist information centre is open Monday to Saturday 10am to 5pm. Or call 01962 840 500, email tourism@winchester.gov.uk or see www.visitwinchester.co.uk