A consultation has been launched to help develop the future of the Tourist Information Centres (TICs) in these towns.
The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted how people need more information and advice about their local area, including services and support. Dorset Council has worked closely with town and parish councils, strengthening that provision, and is looking to build on that in the future.
The TICs in Dorchester, Sherborne and Wareham were closed to the public earlier in the year as lockdown restrictions were introduced. Employees remained available from Monday to Saturday to provide services, although they were not office-based.
The TICs re-opened for face-to-face service in mid-October, with appropriate COVID-19 safety measures in place to protect both customers and employees.
TICs are a traditional way to provide face-to-face service for visitors and residents. However, their use has dropped with recent developments in technology, especially online information.
Dorset Council is seeking to find out how and why Dorset residents use TICs, and the value of these services. It is also asking if residents think TICs should continue to be funded separately, or if the service could be provided in another way.
It will take five to 10 minutes to complete the survey online, or an alternative version can be requested by contacting Tracy McGregor on 01305 224458. Paper copies of the survey will be available in the three TICs.
The results will be considered before any final decisions about TICs are taken. It is expected that the council’s Cabinet will make a decision during 2021.
Dorset Council Portfolio Holder for Customer, Community and Regulatory Services, Cllr Jill Haynes, said, “Before we make any long-term decisions around our Tourist Information Centres, it’s important for us to measure the importance these services hold with Dorset residents and how people choose to access this information nowadays.
“Whether you represent a business or you’re an individual who uses these facilities, either frequently or once in a blue moon, we want to know your views.
“I would encourage as many people as possible to fill out the online survey as soon as you can. It doesn’t take long and will help us when we come to review the provision of TICs in the future. Thank you in advance for your participation.”
The survey will be available online at www.dorsetcouncil.gov.uk/TIC-consultation until Sunday 29 November 2020.
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