Exmouth TIC is thrown lifeline

Exmouth’s Tourist Information Centre has been thrown a lifeline, which has saved the service from closure.

Travelworld, in The Strand, this week took over the role of the TIC after Exmouth Chamber of Commerce announced the financially-failing service was to close.

Following the changes, the existing TIC business will cease trading, while the six staff members have been made redundant.

The building, which has been home to the TIC for several years, in Manor Gardens, will be returned to the district council.

Exmouth’s TIC had been running as a limited company for several years, with financial backing from the chamber of commerce and the town council.

Chamber chairman Ian MacQueen said the move had been forced by changes in the way tourists had turned to technology for information, coupled with a rise in maintenance and staffing costs.

He said: “We very much regret the redundancies and are hugely grateful to the TIC staff who have kept things going so well for so long.

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“However, public opinion has long been that the TIC provision should be in the centre of the town and run during full business hours, but TICs are closing everywhere because they cannot stand alone as viable businesses.

“We have, therefore, had to look at a 21st Century solution to the problem, and housing the service within a successful tourism business in The Strand was the obvious answer.

“For a very long time, the members of the chamber executive have had to divert a great deal of their attention to the TIC. Now we will be far better able to focus on our core function, which is to support and represent the businesses of the town.”

Exmouth Town Council clerk John Wokersien said: “We have been happy to help support the TIC for many years, but, if Exmouth is to remain competitive as a holiday destination, we must move with the times – Hannah and her team at Travelworld have offered the town a perfect solution.”

On Monday, a two-month transition period began, where members of the chamber of commerce will help with the changeover.

Jenny Clark, managing director of Eaton-Terry Clark Holidays, in Rolle Street, welcomed the move, saying visitors would benefit from the changes.

She said: “We see great potential for travellers to gain from a one-stop shop for accommodation, travel, events and advice.”