Over recent years We Are Weymouth, the Business Improvement District (BID), alongside Weymouth Town Council has dedicated much time and resources to improving the town, and welcoming people to visit. The BID’s marketing strategy has been designed to help increase footfall and encourage more spending in the Town Centre.
As more and more visitors head to Weymouth, the need for Tourist Information has been growing exponentially, with Tourist Information a point of contact that supports the town-wide initiatives. It’s also vital to improving the visitor experience whilst in the town – sharing all the town, and local coastline has to offer.
Post lockdown, with the resurgence of the Staycation and the influx of visitors through Portland Port, the team at We Are Weymouth joined with the Dorset Volunteer Centre to provide information and signposting through the Dorset Volunteer Ambassadors programme, with many of the original (BID) Weyfarers joining their team. We Are Weymouth provided maps and guides, as well as local information to the volunteers whilst The Volunteer Centre managed the delivery of the scheme throughout the town with support from Weymouth Town Council. Since lockdown, and with the Staycation remaining ever-popular, it has become apparent that the town needed more.
In October 2021, We Are Weymouth brought together stakeholders in the town and formed a Tourism Group whose focus was on the operational aspects of delivering tourism to the town. A partnership was created between Weymouth Town Council, Dorset Volunteer Centre, the Weymouth Area Development Trust, Southwestern Rail, First Wessex and Portland Port. The exciting results from the forum are that there will be Information points across the town, new town centre maps (being published by the BID) which will highlight locations for information such as the train station and Portland Port, First Wessex will have a timetable pod on the promenade and an Information shop will be opened within the town.
Dawn Rondeau, Chief Operations Officer at We Are Weymouth (BID) comments: “Tourism is crucial to Weymouth’s economy and a variety of information points across the town is necessary at the gateways to the town to provide a welcome to everyone visiting whether by cruise ship, personal or public transport. The BID actively markets the town to encourage both locals and visitors to come and explore all Weymouth has to offer, and believe that tourist information points are crucial to that experience.”
The concept of Tourism needing a dedicated facility was expanded upon and the Weymouth Information shop for both locals and visitors was developed by Weymouth Area Development Trust and the Dorset Volunteer Centre who brought together additional partners to fund the project.
Weymouth Information shop will be officially opened at the end of the month and is funded and supported for a six-month pilot by We Are Weymouth (BID), Weymouth Town council, Dorset council, Public health Dorset, The Dorset Volunteer Centre, Age UK NSW Dorset, Help and Kindness, WADT, NHS and the CCG.
Dawn Rondeau, Chief Operations Officer at We Are Weymouth (BID) comments: “We Are Weymouth (BID) are thrilled to be one of the sponsors funding the Information shop. It will be a welcome addition and a central point for locals and visitors to find out information about the town, whether for trips or bus routes, entertainment and events, places to eat or even where to get a haircut. Weymouth really is a special place.”
Whilst you will continue to see the cheery faces of the ambassadors across the Town Centre, beach and meeting the cruise ships; the Information Shop will be an additional dedicated space where visitors and locals can gain information guides, timetables and signposting. The centre will provide information on ‘things to do’, maps, transport links, trips, trails and activities for visitors. The Shop will showcase Weymouth as the perfect location for top local attractions, as well as provide information on services to the local community.
Cllr Colin Huckle, current Mayor of Weymouth said: “It’s good to see Weymouth Information Shop opening its doors to the public. As well as providing helpful information and a friendly place to stop and chat for residents and visitors to the town, it will also signpost to other services provided by partner organisations including Weymouth Town Council. I wish them all the best for this new venture in the heart of Weymouth.”