Axe for Norwich Tourist Information Centre as closure announced
- Credit: Archant
Norwich's Tourist Information Centre has closed permanently, council bosses have announced.
The centre has been based in The Forum since 2001, having previously been in The Guildhall and Augustine Steward House.
It has been shut due to coronavirus restrictions since December last year.
But Norwich City Council has announced that it will not be reopening.
Council bosses said, although tourism is set to increase now lockdown measures are easing, the pandemic means people are heading online for information.
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Nikki Rotsos, director of strategy and culture said: "As with many council services over the last few years, and especially so in light of the pandemic, we had been looking at what the future held for the tourist information centre in a growing digital world.
“More and more people are choosing to find local information elsewhere and our in-person visits have been decreasing even before the pandemic hit.
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“The team at the tourist centre have done such an amazing job and I’d like to thank them for the pride and passion that they’ve shown for Norwich.”
The council says in-person visits to the tourist information centre have been falling for many years with 2019 showing a 50pc reduction from 2012.
The council says that comes despite rising visitor numbers to the city; 6.9mn in 2012 to 13.1m by 2019.
City Hall says when it was open from August to December last year, in-person visits were 10pc lower than the previous year.
The council says closing it will save the council about £110,000, with six people who work there being offered redeployment.
The council says VisitNorwich, which City Hall partly funds, will continue to offer online visitor information at www.visitnorwich.co.uk
The centre had offered advice on accommodation and travel options, as well as provide information on tickets, events, attractions and days out.
It also sold souvenirs, maps and tickets for city sightseeing tours and guided walking tours.
It was also home to The Jarrold Shop, which sold products which were either locally made or which demonstrated the appeal of Norwich and Norfolk.