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St Ives Visitor Information Centre about to welcome 200,000th visitor

By The Cornishman  |  Posted: July 01, 2013

The St Ives VIC has been busier than ever despite the weather as it prepares to welcome its 200,000 visitor in three years. Colin Sanger

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ST IVES Visitor Information Centre is set to welcome its 200,000 visitor three years since it was saved from closure.

The VIC is run by the town council and a dedicated team of paid staff and volunteers.

Three years ago Cornwall Council decided the Tourist Information Centre (TIC) had to go in cost-cutting measures and St Ives Town Council took the bold step of running it itself and renamed it the VIC. After a short closure the Guildhall-based VIC reopened in June 2010.

And, after three years of giving advice, directions, taking bookings and offering a dry place out of the rain, the VIC is set to greet its 200,000th visitor in the next few weeks.

This figure would probably have been higher if it was not for the main entrance to the Guildhall being restricted for up to two months over the Easter period while Cornwall Council installed a ramp to accommodate people with mobility difficulties.

The management team's Julie Cox said visitor numbers were holding up despite the poor summer so far.

Apart from UK visitors, St Ives has been seeing a glut of German visitors keen to check out the sites around Lelant namechecked in the romantic works of Rosamunde Pilcher, whose novels, filmed in German, have a cult following on German TV.

Julie said that Americans, Australians and Northern Europeans were also visiting in large numbers.

St Ives mayor and local businessman Colin Nicholls said the recorded footfall through the centre was heartening but he was disappointed that many businesses in the town who benefit from 'the visitor' were not supporting the VIC.

He said: "They have got to look at the bigger picture, supporting the VIC means you are ensuring the sustainability of this vital facility and the prosperity of the town."

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