Islands’ Partnership Takes On Scilly’s TIC Contract From Council

tourist information centre flagThe future of Scilly’s Tourist Information Centre is secure. The Islands’ Partnership is taking it on.

There’s been uncertainty over the service following the Council’s announcement that they wanted to outsource it after 27 years of local authority operation.

But the privatisation failed last autumn after no operator was appointed.

This new contract is for two years instead of the one-year deal offered initially, and starts on the 1st of April.

Islands’ Partnership Chief Executive David Jackson says the longer period makes the project more viable.

The agreement will ensure that all accommodation providers, and not just IP members, will be represented to around 50,000 customers each year.

Existing advertising channels, such as the boards at Porthcressa, will continue.

David says it makes sense for one tourism body to oversee both marketing and the TIC operations. That was recommended in the Blue Sail consultants report but the TIC won’t be a major money-maker for the Partnership – they will run the service for the benefit of the entire sector.

There will also be more retailing at the site, which will remain at its current Schiller Shelter base. David says that could include some Scilly-branded merchandise but they don’t intend to compete directly with local traders.

In the future, the TIC could introduce a commission-based, last minute accommodation booking service as a revenue line although David says that’s not an immediate priority.

The existing staff will be retained and there’ll be recruitment for additional workers later in the season. And David hasn’t ruled out more volunteer support either, which was trialled two years ago.

The TIC hours will remain in line with current opening times although there may be opportunities for extended hours during major events like Walk Scilly.

David says the facility, currently called the Visitor Information Point, will revert back to the Tourist Information Centre title because it’s more recognisable to the average person in the street.