While visitor numbers are down at the Sidney-area information centres this past summer tourist season, there is some relief in knowing that people are still coming to visit the Peninsula — even if they are turning to social media, the Internet and electronic direction-finders to find their way here.
That might mean fewer actual physical visits to information centres, but staff at those facilities are tapping into the online market to get the word out about the greater Peninsula area.
Visitors, should they decide to pass on these centres, are missing out on a lot of local flavour by not dropping in to the local Visitor Information offices.
Not only are they a treasure-trove of publications (local and regional), maps that are accurate (some GPS systems are a little behind, say Information Centre staff, based on customer comments) and friendly advice, but they can also provide people with a little more colour about local destinations.
It’s this local knowledge that can point visitors in the right direction — or at least in the direction of the goal of their trip. After all, some folks want to simply get lost in a community. Sometimes, that in itself is a great way of getting to know an area (as long as they can find their way out again).
As a central meeting place for visitors, the facility is a great place for bumping into people — either locals and staff who can give you the skinny on what’s what in town — or other travelers perhaps looking for the same thing. From personal experience, I can tell you that some of a trip’s best experiences can come from meeting new people and embarking on an adventure (or at least part of one) together.
In the end, the ultimate goal is to reach people who are visiting the area and offer them the chance to have a great time.