If tourism is so important to the local economy, why doesn’t the “sector” support Tourist Information Centres (TICs) ?
Owl understands that the rise in airbnb has resulted in a catastrophic fall in commissions that used to be earned by TICs in taking b&b bookings.
Daniel Wilkins www.exmouthjournal.co.uk
A plea has been made to help fund a new-look website for the town’s tourist information centre which would help attract visitors and tour operators to Budleigh Salterton.
The TIC’s current website http://www.visitbudleigh.com is not ‘fit for purpose’ according to trustee Helen Warren and a drop in revenue from advertisers is partly due to the current state of the site.
Estimates for a new web page are in the region of between £2,500 and £3,500 with East Devon AONB (Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty) pledging £1,000 towards the TIC.
The centre is currently in the process of applying to become a not-for-profit organisation and is appealing for organisations or individuals who might be prepared to help meet the funding shortfall.
Mrs Warren, who is also chairman of the chamber of commerce, said the TIC, which is currently closed due to the coronavirus restrictions, is completely self-funded and relies on advertising revenue to keep going.
She added: “It (the current site) is very difficult to navigate and the graphics are poor.
“Our neighbouring towns of Sidmouth and Exmouth both have modern websites that have been fully funded by their town councils.
“Sadly, this is not the case for Budleigh and so the centre needs to raise money in order to create a website of equal merit.
“A modern, dynamic website with good visuals and links will help to promote Budleigh as a destination town worth visiting.
“It would promote its independent shops and cafes, beach and water sports, walking and cycling routes, wildlife, community events , drama and Internationally acclaimed festivals, which will in turn benefit the local economy and provide community engagement.
“By promoting sustainable tourism the information centre hopes to be able to persuade sufficient local businesses to think that this is a useful website that will promote their interests and encour-age visitors into the area.”
The website also needs to be populated with good quality photographs of the area and events that take place throughout the year.
If anyone can supply some suitable images, they can be credited with their name.
For more information on supporting the Tourist Information Centre, ring Helen on 01395 442600/07902 128104 or email firstname.lastname@example.org