Two years since its official opening on 27 May 2010, Visit York’s new Information Centre at 1 Museum Street has welcomed 900,000 visitors through its doors. In its first year of operation 390,208 visitors used the centre and over the last year Visit York has helped a record breaking half a million visitors with their enquiries; including everything from where to visit, shop and dine out.
Previously located at the De Grey Rooms in Exhibition Square, Visit York opened the state of the art centre with support from the City of York Council and Yorkshire Forward. A 117% increase in footfall has been achieved over the last two years. In its first year of trading, Visit York aimed to increase visits to its new Information Centre by 40 per cent to 336,000 but by March 2011, footfall figures had already reached 390,208, over 54,000 more than the number anticipated. From 2011 to 2012, an additional 112,000 people visited the centre than in the previous year.
As well as welcoming people from all across the UK, tourism staff have noticed an increase in visitors from China, Eastern European countries, Spain, Italy and France. Visit York has enlisted its first Mandarin speaking volunteer to help offer a personal service for York’s Chinese visitors.
Susan Lee, said, ‘I decided to volunteer to use my language and teaching skills. Visitors from China and Hong Kong are always surprised when they arrive in the Visitor centre and I can speak fluently with them. They always ask me more questions and show me their Chinese travel guides. Being able to chat in Mandarin helps them feel at home.’
Gillian Cruddas MBE, Chief Executive of Visit York, said: “The increase in footfall that our new Information Centre has seen in the last two years has exceeded all our expectations. We anticipated the new facilities would attract more visits to the centre but we have been delighted to see our estimates blown out of the water by the figures just in for 2011/2012.
“York is a world class tourism destination and we needed to ensure that our Information Centre reflected this standing. With the addition of cutting edge facilities, the new centre now offers visitors a top quality, memorable experience in the city, from start to finish.”
The Information Centre, which replaced the facilities previously located in the De Grey rooms, now boasts a brand new shop offering a range of locally produced goods including tea and biscuits from Taylors of Harrogate, handmade chocolate from Naburn and a range of souvenir York 800 merchandise including t shirts, badges and mugs.
The centre also accepts Euros which is encouraging more European visitors to take home a souvenir from Yorkshire.
Visit York’s Information Centre is located at 1 Museum Street, York YO1 7DT. To find out more about it click here.