New recognition for tourist offices

TOURISM in the county's coastal strip has been given a boost with those working to promote the area receiving national recognition for their expertise and hard work.

TOURISM in the county's coastal strip has been given a boost with those working to promote the area receiving national recognition for their expertise and hard work.

Around five million visitors enjoy the area each year - spending an estimated £219 million - and many come because of the work of the staff at the Tourist Information Centres (TICs).

Now the three TICs in Felixstowe, Woodbridge and Aldeburgh have been awarded “official partner” status by Enjoy England, the country's official tourist board.

It means the centres have met quality standards covering customer service, staff training, and the checked accommodation promoted and booked through the offices.

Suffolk Coastal cabinet member Colin Hart said the new status would help attract even more people to the district to enjoy its facilities.

“Our three TICs are open to visitors and residents alike, and are on hand to help with a range of information and services,” he said.

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“They have always offered a friendly service and I am pleased that they are now gaining national recognition. This is a real credit to the hard work and dedication of our staff.

“Gaining this status of being an official partner of Enjoy England will help place Suffolk Coastal even further in the forefront of people's thoughts when it comes to considering a great place to visit.”

This is the first year of the official partners scheme and the TICs at Felixstowe, Woodbridge and Aldeburgh are among only 230 around the country who can use the new Enjoy England sign which promises “the highest levels of customer service plus the latest Enjoy England campaign brochures”.

To ensure the standards are kept, Enjoy England carries out “mystery shopper” visits to test staff.

Latest improvement to the services on offer at the TICs include bookings for the new Air Direct coach service running from Ipswich bus and railway stations to Stansted Airport.

The centres have also entered into partnership as agents for coach operator Galloway Travel who specialise in coach holidays in the UK and overseas and day excursions.

Do Suffolk Coastal's TICs give a good service? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail EveningStarLetters@eveningstar.co.uk

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