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Wigan’s Tourism Triumph
Tuesday 29th September, 2009

Wigan’s Tourism Triumph
Amy Atkins - Information Assistant, Jennifer Cockram - Marketing Officer, Sophie Gardiner - Wigan TIC manager, Head of Heritage Lottery Funding North West Sara Hilton, Victoria Bolton (at back) - Information Assistant, Lorraine Quilliam - Information Assistant and Keith Bergman - Wigan Leisure and Culture Trust's Tourism Manager.

WIGAN’S Tourist Information Centre is the best in the North West!

Staff at the centre on Wallgate, Wigan were named Tourist Information Centre of the Year at a glitzy awards ceremony at Blackpool’s famous Tower Ballroom on Monday night.

They beat off stiff competition from St Helens, Congleton, Cleveleys and Coniston to win the title.

And the secret of their success? They’re all proud Wiganers.

Sophie Gardiner, Tourist Information Manager for Wigan Leisure and Culture Trust, said: “We’re all proud to live in Wigan and that shines through in our work.
“This is recognition for a lot of hard work and team work and we couldn’t be more thrilled.”

Following a mystery shopper visit earlier in the year the five strong team were named best in Greater Manchester but on Monday their hard work providing visitors, and Wigan residents alike, with information on local events and activities won them the tourism “oscar”.

They’re also an official Ticketmaster agency and sell national theatre and concert tickets.

But it was their work on Wigan’s “mini-renaissance” that really made an impression.

Sophie added: “Like any business success starts with a belief in your product and, for us, that’s Wigan.
“One of the points the judges did comment on was our innovative work in marketing. The re-branding and focus on Wigan’s mini renaissance – the refurbishing and renewing of Mesnes Park, the History Shop and the new Wigan Life centre - are all part of moving Wigan forward and looking to the future.”

The prestigious event was organised by the Northwest Regional Development Agency (NWDA) and aims to drive up the quality of the visitor experience across the region by rewarding excellence in the tourism industry.

Nick Brooks-Sykes, Director of Tourism at the NWDA, added: “Tourism is an important industry in the Northwest, contributing over £13 billion to our economy every year.
“The NWDA is committed to helping the industry to improve its competitiveness, and these awards play an important role in encouraging the quality and standards that we need to be an international player.
“These businesses are setting the standards for others to follow.”

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