2018 has been a successful year so far for Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council’s Visitor Information Centres (VIC).
Since January, they have handled over 100,000 enquiries including 45% from out-of-state, highlighting the level of interest from people wanting to find out more about the destination.
Activities and attractions can now be booked through the VIC network, giving providers unrivalled access to a worldwide audience.
The Mayor of Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council Councillor Brenda Chivers said: “We now have 14 experience providers signed up to use our booking service which is beneficial to both visitors and trade partners. Our latest mystery shopper results where five centres scored 100% are testament to our knowledgeable and informed VIC staff. A recent survey carried out in Ballycastle and Bushmills showed that 85% of people were encouraged to explore others parts of the destination after visiting a VIC so they provide important opportunities for our providers which we are keen to showcase.”
Richard Connor is among the tourism trade members who are availing of the VIC booking service. Based at Coleraine Marina, his ‘Birds on the Bann’ river trips, on board the Causeway Lass, provide a very special way to enjoy the wildlife and scenery of the Bann Estuary which is a winter home for thousands of migrating birds every year.
He said: “We have been in business for the past 20 years, offering chartered angling tours for visitors. We introduced our bird watching river trips in 2015 and now for the first time we have a direct booking option available through our local VIC team. This makes it much easier for guests to pre-book and obtain information. So far, we have welcomed hundreds of people on board and we hope this new booking facility means that even more choose to experience this unique opportunity to enjoy our landscape.”
Sarah Rocks from Causeway Coast and Glens Heritage Trust (CCGHT), who support the trips, said: “We have been delighted with their success and continued popularity year on year, opening up an area of the Binevenagh AONB not normally accessible to the local community and visitors, some from as far as Tasmania and French Guiana.”