Tourist Information Centres
England has a network of over 560 Tourist Information Centres (TICs) all working to the same Mission –
‘To provide an unrivalled information service that is accessible to all’
The objectives of the National TIC Network are:
- To provide tourist information and services tailored to the needs of consumers
- To provide the highest standards of customer care
- To be both expertly informed and impartial
- To represent the best interests of the consumer and all network stakeholders
The operation of a networked TIC in England is a major commitment to quality and the highest standards of customer care. Networked TICs benefit from support services provided by England’s regional tourism partners.
How does a TIC become networked?
Each regional tourist team has a staff member responsible for TIC Networking. This person is the first point of contact for a potential TIC operator and will advise on the suitability and appropriateness of each application. Part of their role is to advise on all aspects of TIC operations and it is essential to consult with them at an early stage before starting the provision of services to the public.
There are criteria which must be met in order to become a networked Tourist Information Centre and, in Yorkshire, there are different types of information provision from TICs, Gateway TICs, TIPs (Tourist Information Points). The TIC Network Guidelines will assist in deciding which type of provider you wish to be.
What does a TIC provide?
In addition to playing a pivotal role in the provision of tourist information to visitors, a TIC is also a key point of contact for tourism businesses.
The following offers a taste of the range of services provided by a TIC and demonstrates the importance of its role to the local economy.
Promotion of the Local Area
TICs work closely with Yorkshire Tourist Board, their own funding body (local authority or private sector owner) and local tourism businesses to raise awareness of and increase business to an area. The staff are highly motivated, have a wealth of local knowledge and are also adept at using IT to source information.
A TIC also provides opportunities to tourism businesses for promotion by means of displaying literature. This can be for local businesses promoting to visitors or for businesses further afield promoting to residents.
TICs are, quite often, the first point of contact for those considering starting a tourism business or for those thinking of purchasing a tourism property (B&B, Self Catering etc). They provide a link between those businesses and the tourism officers or regional tourist boards.
A TIC plays an active role in raising awareness on sustainable tourism in their local area and will actively promote sustainable initiatives such as Park & Ride or local transport services, recycling etc.
Nationally networked TICs are able to communicate through the Internet on their own web based system. This allows effective sharing of information which further raises awareness.
TICs offer booking services for accommodation and attractions & events tickets, as well as some offering further services such as transport tickets. By offering this service, it further assists in the local economy.
What TICs mean to your locality
TICs form an integral part of local communities and are vital in the promotion of these areas to both visitors and local residents.
TICs play an important part in the sustainability of tourism within an area and in helping economic growth for businesses in their locality. They do not provide services exclusively for accommodation providers and attractions, the traditional tourism businesses, but other associated businesses such as local shops, restaurants, garages and other community services too.