Rye Tourism Centre closes doors to people

9/1/14- Rye.  The Tourist Information Centre in Lion Street ENGSUS00120140901121510
9/1/14- Rye. The Tourist Information Centre in Lion Street ENGSUS00120140901121510

Rye Tourist Information Centre in Lion Street has closed its doors to visitors just weeks before the busy Easter holidays.

The facility was the only staffed tourist information centre in Rother and acted as a hub for Battle and Bexhill.

Rother District Council has agreed a three-year deal with national brochure distribution company Brochure Connect to manage its tourist information service from April 1.

The firm will be responsible for three tourist information points and smaller local information points across the district, and will use its distribution network to make tourism brochures available in more places.

However, support for email and telephone enquiries will end when the district’s one staffed Tourist Information Centre, in Rye, ceases to operate, with visitors directed to the 1066 Country website for information and bookings.

The changes follow a reduction in the service’s annual budget from £65,000 to £30,000, part of the wider savings the council needs to make due to cuts in central Government funding.

Cllr Martin Kenward, cabinet member for culture, tourism and leisure, said: “The nature of tourism has changed beyond recognition in recent years, with most people now planning their own trip online. This means there is far less demand for a staffed tourist information centre to deal with enquiries or manage bookings.

“Brochure Connect is an established company with an extensive distribution network, which it can use to increase the number of outlets for tourism brochures, while people can access a huge range of information and support on the 1066 Country website.

The Rye centre, will continue to handle phone and email enquiries until March 27.