With visitor numbers rising year on year, Royal Windsor Information Centre has been brought into the 21st century thanks to a mini makeover with new digital screens and a feature wall.
Located within Windsor Royal Shopping, the centre provides advice on what to see and do and where to stay and helps people get the best out of their visit to Windsor and the Royal Borough.
The information team provide advice for one of the UK’s most visited tourist destinations and help around 90,000 people every year with queries, either over the counter or by telephone.
In the 10 years the centre has been open they have helped well over a million customers.
Total expenditure by visitors to Windsor and Maidenhead is estimated to have been around £485.7 million in 2015. This is 0.3 percent higher than it was the year before.
From 2014 to 2015 the number of overnight stays in Windsor increased by nearly four percent (3.8 percent). Domestic visitors made up 543,000 of these and 200,000 were from overseas.
Overseas visitors spent almost £97.5 million on their trips which is a 4.5 percent increase compared to the year before.
As well as benefiting thousands of tourists, a quarter of customers to the information centre are residents who appreciate having a town centre box office offering discounts on tickets for Advantage Card holders.
Cllr Samantha Rayner, lead member for culture and communities, said: “This refurbishment recognises the significant contribution that tourism makes to the borough’s local economy and I am pleased that the centre provides both a face-to-face and telephone service to cater to people’s various needs and preferences.
“Every year we are welcoming more and more visitors to Windsor and the Royal Borough and we want to give them the best possible experience and one that they will always remember.
“The centre and its enthusiastic and very knowledgeable staff help encourage visitors to stay longer, see and do more while they are here and spend more money in our local businesses.”
Six digital screens are now located in the information centre, displaying things to see and do as well as local community and charitable events. A further three screens will be installed at major entry points to the town later this year.
A survey conducted by the council from mid-July to early September 2016 found that 46 percent of all visitors interviewed were visiting Windsor for the first time, while the remaining 54 percent had visited on at least one occasion previously.
In the same survey 72 percent of visitors indicated that the visit had met their expectations, while 27 percent reported that it had exceeded their expectations. Only one percent reported that the visit had failed to meet their expectations.
The feeling of welcome in Windsor was also rated highly, with 76 percent of visitors rating this aspect ‘very good’ (74 percent in 2015).
Visitors were also invited to comment on their first impressions of the town. By far the most dominant impression mentioned, by 71 percent of all visitors, was how attractive and appealing they found the town to be. Others mentioned the cleanliness (37 percent), traditional feel (26 percent) and the welcoming feel (25 percent).
As in previous years, the vast majority of respondents indicated that they were ‘very likely’ or ‘likely’ to recommend Windsor as a visitor destination to others (97 percent).
The information service is available seven days a week, 363 days a year. Opening and closing times vary throughout the seasons but the centre is always open between 10am and 4pm.