Aber­feldy tourist in­for­ma­tion cen­tre to go in na­tional shake-up

The Courier & Advertiser (Perth and Perthshire Edition) - - NEWS -

The tourist in­for­ma­tion of­fice in Aber­feldy is to close un­der a shake-up by VisitScot­land.

The tourism body is ax­e­ing al­most two-thirds of its tourist of­fices as part of a rad­i­cal ap­proach to the “in­for­ma­tion rev­o­lu­tion”.

The na­tional tourism or­gan­i­sa­tion said two out of three vis­i­tors now ac­cess in­for­ma­tion on­line, while foot­fall to its in­for­ma­tion cen­tres has dropped 58% in the past decade.

It plans to cut the num­ber of in­for­ma­tion cen­tres from 65 to 26 “high im­pact re­gional hubs” in lo­ca­tions of great­est visi­tor de­mand over the next two years. Staff will be of­fered re­de­ploy­ment, re­train­ing or vol­un­tary re­dun­dancy.

The cen­tres ear­marked for clo­sure in­clude those at Ed­in­burgh and Glas­gow Air­ports, In­ver­aray, Aber­feldy, Thurso and Brae­mar.

Lord John Thurso, chair­man of VisitScot­land, said: “The way vis­i­tors ac­cess in­for­ma­tion has changed sig­nif­i­cantly.

“It’s time to switch our fo­cus and in­vest­ment into new and di­verse ini­tia­tives to en­sure we are reach­ing as many peo­ple as pos­si­ble with the in­for­ma­tion they want, in the way they want it, when they want it.

“With three in four adults now own­ing a smart­phone, a key fo­cus is en­sur­ing our dig­i­tal com­mu­ni­ca­tions pro­vide suc­cinct in­spi­ra­tional and in­for­ma­tional ad­vice to vis­i­tors at ev­ery stage of their jour­ney.”

The 26 cen­tres stay­ing open in­clude those in Ed­in­burgh, Glas­gow, St An­drews, In­ver­ness, Kirk­wall and Ler­wick. Marc Crothall, chief ex­ec­u­tive of the Scot­tish Tourism Al­liance, said the group be­lieved VisitScot­land would man­age the changes in a sen­si­tive way.

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