Big move for tourism staff
TOURISM staff in the front line of the battle to bring visitors to Felixstowe will next week move back "home" in a £90,000 project.After 19 years at the leisure centre, the resort's Tourist Information Centre (TIC) is returning to its original premises next to the Town Hall.
TOURISM staff in the front line of the battle to bring visitors to Felixstowe will next week move back "home" in a £90,000 project.
After 19 years at the leisure centre, the resort's Tourist Information Centre (TIC) is returning to its original premises next to the Town Hall.
The scheme is part of a £300,000 revamp of the resort's civic centre which will include bigger accommodation for the housing benefits office, access for people with disabilities, and allowing some areas to be let for commercial use.
The TIC's move is necessary because its workload has increased over the past few years and its current premises are too cramped.
It will move over the next few days and start operating from 91 Undercliff Road West from Tuesday January 20, where Suffolk Coastal council says it will have larger premises with an improved layout that will enable staff to provide an even better service to visitors and the local community.
Felixstowe has had a TIC since 1951 when the Tourist Information Bureau, as it was known, opened at South Beach Mansion.
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"Tourism is estimated to be worth £143m per annum to the district's economy and it is important that we provide an efficient and effective information network that offers visitors a comprehensive service and the information they want," said John Perry, cabinet member for the economy.
Mayor Doreen Savage, chairman of the resort regeneration steering group, said the TIC handles around 75,000 enquiries each year, providing information as well as selling services and items ranging from rail tickets to souvenirs.
"Apart from tourist information the TIC is also the base for the resort services co-ordination operation responsible for the co-ordination of events and general visitor management," said Mrs Savage.
"The staff have provided an excellent service in very cramped conditions over the years and the move is long overdue,"
The TIC will close its leisure centre premises at 1pm on Sunday and re-open for business on Tuesday at 9.00am.
Winter opening hours are 9am-5.30pm Monday to Friday, 9.30am-5pm on Saturday and 9.30am-5.30pm on Sunday. In summer (April – September) the centre is open 9am-5.30pm every day.
Details of Suffolk Coastal's three TICs at Felixstowe, Woodbridge and Aldeburgh can be found on the council's website at www.suffolkcoastal.gov.uk/leisure/touristinfo.html