Thursday, December 12, 2013
A taskforce could be set up to revive the town’s Tourist Information Centre.
On Monday former mayor and district councillor Darryl Nicholas will ask town councillors to back a process to bring the public, private and voluntary sectors together to revive a TIC service.
The proposal follows the closure of the TIC that was housed in Travel World in The Strand, at the end of November because it was no longer financially viable.
Last week town council maintenance man Derek Parsons dismantled the signs pointing visitors to the former service because they were no longer needed, leaving the town without the service for the first time for decades.
Last month businessman Ian Stuart, of Stuart Line Cruises, suggested a permanent service to tourists at the firm’s current temporary base, near Mamhead slipway.
The Journal asked Mr Nicholas why he wanted to get involved.
Mr Nicholas, the National Communications Manager for the Association of Town and City Management, said “I have followed the story of the closure of the TIC service with real disappointment, and feel sorry for the many people who have tried to keep it going over the past few years.
“As a town I know we can turn this situation around, and I felt compelled to volunteer my time to potentially draw together the business community, councils, and voluntary sector to find out what is wanted, what can be done, and how we can draw up plans to develop an exciting and useful service in the future.”
He said he hoped to be able to draw on his experience as a former councillor and said that his previous position as head of marketing for the World of Country Life gave him an insight into the type of TIC that the town needs.
He added: “At this stage it is only a proposal, but if the council thinks this is a good idea, and there is support from the Chamber of Trade and business community, then I can see this process kicking off early next year. It will of course then be up to local businesses and the council to decide if they want to back the ideas that emerge from the consultation.”
He has offered to lead a non-political process that draws together views, ideas and expertise from a wide-range of people. He said: “One thing is for sure; if this happens, and we do it well, Exmouth could blend the on the ground TIC experience with some of the emerging technologies that will really create an exciting offer that ensures the best for our town.”