Manchester Visitor Information Centre is best in the country

Manchester’s tourism chiefs are celebrating today after the city’s Visitor Information Centre won a gold award at last night’s VisitEngland Awards for Excellence.

Manchester's Visitor Information Centre (MVIC) - managed by Visit Manchester and the first point of call for hundreds of thousands of visitors to the city - won 'Visitor Information Provider of the Year'.

The VisitEngland Awards for Excellence celebrate the best of England's tourism industry and a gold award is the most prestigious accolade bestowed at the annual awards ceremony, which this year took place at The Athena in Leicester.

The award recognises MVIC's extensive £800,000 renovation undertaken in summer 2010 using funding by Manchester City Council and the Northwest Regional Development Agency (NWDA).

This investment saw MVIC become the first Visitor Information Centre in Europe to use the type of futurist technology only previously seen in films - a platform that responds to touch, natural hand gestures and objects placed on a display.

Paul Simpson, managing director of Visit Manchester said: "We are delighted to receive this award for our excellent Visitor Information Centre. A VisitEngland Award for Excellence is a true mark of distinction and to be recognised with a gold award singles us out as having the best Visitor Information Centre in the country.

"Manchester's Visitor Information Centre plays a pivotal role in promoting the city's tourism offering as it is often the first place visitors go to get the information they need in order to make the most of their time in Manchester.

"It reopened in June 2010 after an extensive renovation which saw it move to Piccadilly Gardens and significantly upgrade its facilities. The resulting combination of cutting edge technology and friendly and knowledgeable staff has made the visitor experience even more stimulating and engaging for every person who walks through the door.

"Of course, the success of Manchester's tourism sector is also a huge team effort - at Visit Manchester we take a strong partnership approach, working closely with the airport, airlines, hotels and visitor attractions to ensure the city-region delivers a fantastic visitor experience. Therefore the whole Greater Manchester tourism community can be proud for the part they have played in helping us win this award."

Sir Richard Leese, leader of Manchester City Council, said: "Manchester has established itself as one of England's premier visitor destinations and tourism supports and creates many jobs. We're a forward-looking city and the Visitor Information Centre plays an important role in giving visitors a memorable first impression. We're pleased that VisitEngland has recognised its contribution.

"With new attractions, such as the National Football Museum which opens in July, being added all the time there has never been a better time to showcase our city to visitors from across the region, the country and indeed the world."

VisitEngland's Chief Executive, James Berresford, commented: "The VisitEngland Awards for Excellence represent the highest accolade in English tourism. They champion the very best quality, and continue to help to raise standards across the industry, establishing England's place as a world-class destination and a thoroughly fantastic place to visit. This year's awards were the biggest ever, with a record number of almost 400 entrants from across the country. All our finalists are to be warmly congratulated for their success - particularly our Gold Award winners, whose passion and commitment to excellence is outstanding."

Greater Manchester was also recognised with The Lowry Hotel in Salford picking up a silver 'Business Tourism Award' and Meadowcroft Barn B&B in Bolton and Opus One Restaurant & Bar in Manchester receiving 'Highly Commended' nods for 'Bed & Breakfast / Guest Accommodation of the Year' and the 'Taste of England Award' respectively.

Greater Manchester's tourism industry generates £5.8bn for the local economy and supports 77,000 jobs.

Visit Manchester is a division of Marketing Manchester, the agency charged with promoting the city on a national and international stage. For more information: www.marketingmanchester.com

ENDS

 
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