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Tourist Information Services

Tourist information comes in a variety of forms, but the two most important are probably Tourist Information Centres (TICs) and websites.

TICs are found in city centres, major resorts, and transport termini. Tourist information offices, which may be smaller than TICs, are also found in smaller towns and rural areas. Inside the TIC there will be displays of leaflets and brochures on local attractions, entertainment venues and events, transport information such as timetables and schedules, and listings of accommodation providers. Many TICs have touch-screen facilities and interactive information displays, as well as trained staff.

Even if you have researched the city you are planning to visit, or read a guidebook on it, it is always a good idea to make the city’s Tourist Information Centre your first point of call.

Here’s why we recommend visiting the TIC:

Attractions and places to visit: Other than major attractions – also listed in guidebooks – the TIC can help you personalize your trip. If you are time-constrained or limited to a particular area within the city, the TIC person will advise you on how to still make the best of your trip depending on your interests.

Accommodation advice and bookings: If you haven’t yet booked a hostel or hotel in the city, this is the best place for advice. You can book an accommodation through the Centre or they can help you with a list of hostels or hotels that suit your budget and are located close to the centre. Often, in bigger cities, these people can also tell you about dodgy areas you should avoid staying in.

Details of activities, events and tours: The TIC will have extensive information about all the local events, festivals, performances and other activities on in the city at that point in time. You can book for these at the Centre itself and sometimes there are some great discounts to go with them. They will also have a list of heritage trails, guided walks, cycling and walking tours offered in the city.

Transport advice and information: Sometimes buying day passes for public transport can prove to be a cheaper option in a city. In other cities, investing in a combination pass gives you unlimited day travel as well as discounts or free entrance to museums and other such attractions. Make sure you ask for and discuss all options to figure out what works best for you.

Maps, guides, books and brochures: The TIC will have free maps and brochures of music concerts, exhibitions, plays and events and food coupons. Make sure to pick them up. The Centre might try and push you to buy a map but usually a simple map of the city centre available for free is good enough.

Basically, why I recommend a TIC is because it is the only place where you can ask as many questions (no matter how silly) and be sure of getting immediate, informed replies.

Staff will be expected to provide information on a range of areas – such as which restaurant provides a high chair for a baby, the best place for a scenic walk or drive, how to get to local sights, and where the nearest toilets are. Some TICs will have an accommodation booking service, including booking accommodation at the next destination for tourists who are travelling around the region. They may also be able to reserve theatre tickets, arrange car rental, book an excursion or a guide, change currency, and even make an emergency dental appointment.

Date: 2015-06-11; view: 381; Нарушение авторских прав

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