TIC Advertising Costs Are Frozen In 2013

Tourist Information Centre in Hugh Town

The cost of advertising in Scilly’s Tourist Information Centre and on the Porthcressa boards will stay the same next year.

Members at Tuesday’s Tourism Board meeting voted to freeze the charges for advertising in the ‘What’s On’ leaflet and on the TIC notice board at £37.50.

Those wishing to advertise their business at Porthcressa will continue to pay £115.

Julian Pearce said they recommended fixing the charges because of the current economic climate and the fact that the numbers of people advertising had stabilised.

There had been doubt last year about the number of businesses that would want to advertise at Porthcressa, due to the planned building works, but in the end an additional two boards were taken and Tourist Board chair, Christine Savill, said she was encouraged by this.

45,000 tourism brochures were distributed this year, up from 41,500 last year. There was also a continued upward trend in views of the online brochure and Julian says the peaks seem to correlate with national TV coverage on programmes such as BBC’s Coast.

Responsibility for the brochure has now passed to the Tourism and Business Partnership. Julian says it’s likely to be delivered on 14th December, which is later than usual and blamed the delay on businesses not getting their adverts in on time.

He said they were still waiting for 65 adverts in November, even though these were supposed to be returned by 25th July.

Julian said upgrades to the website have also been delayed to coincide with the release of the brochure and to give the Partnership’s new marketing agency, Wolf Rock, a chance to make any changes before it goes live.

Julian said there was a downward trend in bookings for self catering and B&B accommodation this year, based on figures collected by the TIC, although half-board bookings have gone up slightly. Cllr Roy Duncan suggested this could be because there are fewer half-board spaces available, so those that are left are benefitting.

Cruise ship numbers were roughly the same this year, although passenger numbers coming ashore were up and would have been even higher if the weather had been better, said Julian.

A new visitor survey was taken this year, in partnership with the AONB. Julian said the initial results showed that tourism here wasn’t “all doom and gloom.”

81% of visitors rated their experience here as excellent, while 95% said they would visit again and 98% would recommend Scilly to their friends.