Rother’s last TIC shuts doors

Rother's last remaining Tourist Information Centre in Lion Street, Rye. SUS-150317-131054001
Rother's last remaining Tourist Information Centre in Lion Street, Rye. SUS-150317-131054001

Rother’s last remaining Tourist Information Centre has closed to the public.

The district’s only manned centre, in Lion Street, Rye, shut on March 7 and will stop taking email and telephone enquiries from March 27.

The nature of tourism has changed beyond recognition in recent years.

Cllr Martin Kenward

Instead tourists are being directed to the 1066 Country website for information and bookings.

There will still be ‘three tourist information points’ located across the district in Bexhill, Battle and Rye - consisting of little more than a rack of leaflets.

Rother District Council has agreed a three-year deal with national brochure distribution company Brochure Connect to manage its tourist information service from April 1.

The firm will also be responsible for smaller information points across the district.

The council decided to slash its annual tourist information budget from £65,000 to £30,000, following part of the wider savings RDC needs to make due to cuts in centre Government funding.

Cllr Martin Kenward, cabinet member for culture, tourism and leisure, said: “The nature of tourism has changed beyond recognition in recent years, with most people now planning their own trip online. This means there is far less demand for a staffed tourist information centre to deal with enquiries or manage bookings.

“Brochure Connect is an established company with an extensive distribution network, which it can use to increase the number of outlets for tourism brochures, while people can access a huge range of information and support on the 1066 Country website.”

Brochure Connect will send out tourism guides to Bexhill, Battle and Rye on request for one year from April 1.