Where is the tourism information centre?
ONE in four people who found their way to the Tourist Information Centre in the Jersey Museum over the past 18 months say that they ‘had difficulty’ locating it.
And according to research carried out by Visit Jersey, up to 15,000 fewer people visited the information centre between April and August this year compared to the same months in 2015, when the tourism centre was next to the bus station.
The research is revealed in a document issued by Visit Jersey asking for organisations to tender for the new contract for the next 3½ years, starting in April next year.
Visit Jersey chief executive Keith Beecham explained that currently the information desk was manned by staff appointed by Ports of Jersey, with Jersey Heritage providing the space in the Museum. That ‘partnership’ agreement is due to end in December.
Mr Beecham said that the annual budget allocated for the centre was £250,000, with organisations likely to tender including those already involved in hospitality, tourism accommodation, transportation or retail. ‘We need to ask who are the customers.
'We have quite a lot of French visitors looking for inspiration and therefore French-speaking staff are an important consideration. British visitors use it less often and German visitors have things pretty well planned in advance. Then occasionally cruise passengers come in and they have only got a few hours here.
‘So it is important to provide a place where people feel welcome and can get inspiration and ideas, but recognising that the way they do that is changing because of technology. We’re constantly told that older people only like things in print, but I think that’s an insult.
'I’m not a young person and I use digital to run a lot of my life. But I do think that if you’re in a place you don’t know well and someone gives you a personal recommendation for a restaurant, it does make you feel special.’
Mr Beecham said that one option was to keep the information centre in the Museum, which was open all year round and already had good facilities. ‘We’re tendering because we have to, not because we’re unhappy,’ he said.
The deadline for the the tender is the end of this month.