LIVERPOOL’S drive to become the UK’s most tourist friendly city has received a major boost.
The organisers of the European Capital of Culture 2008 have been given the green light to run two tourist information centres – one in the city centre and the other at Liverpool John Lennon Airport.
The 08 Place – Britain’s only Culture One Stop Shop – is to take over the service from Queen Square after the Liverpool Culture Company agreed a deal with The Mersey Partnership, which also includes it running the Airport TIC.
The move, approved on Friday by Liverpool City Council’s Executive Board, means as of February 13 tourists can get all the information about Liverpool and 2008 in the same place for the first time.
To further bolster the new 08 TIC’s and the city’s appeal to tourists, Liverpool Culture Company is set to launch Britain’s first on-street digital walkie-talkie guide next month.
For just a £15 deposit visitors will be able to navigate the World Heritage city’s top 16 must-see attractions, equipped with a free guide and a digital trigger – available at the 08 Place – which activates a DVD within panels installed at the attractions.
The Heritage Audio Tour of Liverpool, available in seven languages, is the latest phase of a £1 million campaign called ‘Connecting Liverpool’. It has revolutionised the look of the city’s street signage, way finders and heritage plaques.
Martin King, Director of Tourism at The Mersey Partnership said: “Tourist Information Centres are a vital part of the service for visitors. Interest in our year as European Capital of Culture is growing all the time and we believe transferring the TIC’s to the Liverpool Culture Company will enable the City Region to offer unrivalled visitor services.”
Liverpool can expect to attract expected extra 1.7 million visitors in 2008 – with blockbuster events from the opening of the new Liverpool Arena at Kings Dock, the start of the Tall Ships Race, the 5th Liverpool Biennial to the Open Championships at Royal Birkdale.