With so many great tourist destinations to choose from in the United Kingdom, standing out from the crowd can be a difficult task. This is why being declared the tourist destination of the year is a major accomplishment and this award was handed to Guildford at the recent Tourist Network Awards.
The Awards were set up to recognise the hard work and great quality of service being provided by destinations and attractions. With an increasing focus being placed on holidays and tours, especially in the United Kingdom, there has been a need to highlight and praise the areas that offer a great deal to their guests. The acknowledgment given to Guildford is indicative of the high standards that have been set in the local area.
The importance of tourism on Guildford was outlined by the lead council for the economic development of the local borough. Gordon Jackson was more than happy to see such hard work in Guildford rewarded and he noted that tourism plays a key role in the local economy, with respect to employment and bringing in income to the area. The local council hopes to see a rise in the number of tourists that make their way to the local area after this award.
Guildford is on the up
Guildford’s local council commissioned a report which indicates that in 2012, there were around 315,000 trips to Guildford that result in at least one overnight stay. This return was broken down into 70% of the visits came from people in the UK and the remaining 30% was made up of people travelling from abroad. The number of people in both groups was up on the previous year’s figures. The same study also indicated that there were more than 4.4m day trips taking place in Guildford in 2012. This represented an increase of 15.3% from the figures for 2011 and the amount of spending from visitors rose by 5.5% for the same period.
When discussing the award, Lee Stevenson from the Tourism Network indicated that there were many reasons why Guildford was the winner. Guildford is able to offer something for everyone with heritage, attractions, shopping and major events on offer. The town is also committed to providing a through tourist experience and the tourism team played a huge role in the triumph.
Figures released by the local council indicates that more than 4,000 full time jobs in Guildford are related to tourism. After part time work and seasonal positions have been taking into account, the full amount of jobs in this sector stands at 5,556, which is equivalent to more than 6% of the total hobs in the borough.
This Destination of the Year award for the GTIC, the Guildford Tourist Information Centre, follows on from a second place award at the Beautiful South Awards has been well received. The award has provided the platform for the GTIC to arrange a series of celebratory events during English Tourism Week. This event runs from the 29th of March to the 5th of April. The GTIC will provide a different type of attraction every day in Guildford High Street and there will be plenty of team members available to provide guidance and advice. The centre can be accessed from Monday to Saturday and the opening hours are from 9.30am to 5pm.