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Published on : Tuesday, June 13, 2017
Iconic and inspirational imagery and free WiFi to help visitors plan and book their stay are part of a new flagship VisitScotland iCentre, due to open in Inverness on 27th June.This new gateway to the Highlands will see the current iCentre relocate from its premises in Castle Wynd to a new, improved and more prominent location at 36 High Street, which is closer to transport hubs and more accessible.
The Highland capital’s official source for information on everything there is to do and see in Inverness and the Highlands welcomed almost 119,000 visitors through its doors in 2016 – a 5% increase on the previous year.
The new iCentre will be a hub for promoting the Highlands and the wider region as a visitor destination and will create an environment more fitting for visitors, with iconic and inspirational imagery along with a fresher and more modern look and feel.
It is hoped the relocation will increase the impact that the iCentre has on the visitor economy, encouraging locals and visitors alike to stay longer and spend more across the Highlands and Scotland.
The new iCentre will feature imagery of the Highlands to inspire customers to explore areas they would have otherwise missed. An orientation panel will help visitors plan their holiday and will have a dedicated area to promote the hugely popular North Coast 500 route.
Free WiFi will be offered to visitors, as well as an area where they can recharge their phones. Insights have shown that visitors prefer to use their own devices to access content and free WiFi provision will enable this.
With 142sq metres of floor space, the layout of the new centre is designed to manage the flow of visitors, with zoning areas for ease of navigation and the new premises also has double display windows at the front, offering good visibility.
VisitScotland’s busy iCentre in Portree recently underwent a similar refurbishment and in the first fortnight of reopening, has already welcomed more than 11,000 visitors. Ticket sales have been up more than 7% and the feedback has been positive from both local residents and visitors.
The new layout will include racking for literature, large-scale wall graphics and local and national wall maps to help visitors plan their journey. The usual accommodation and ticketing services are being retained and opening hours remain the same.
Also included in the new iCentre will be products sold as part of new retail initiative, Shop Local.Initially launched as a pilot in 2016, Shop Local is now being rolled out across the country, offering the opportunity for communities, local businesses, craft makers, artists, designers and others to promote and sell their products to visitors via the VisitScotland iCentre network.
A number of Shop Local suppliers will be selling their products within the iCentre, including Tain Pottery, Highland Crackers, Reids of Caithness, Asher’s Bakery and Hairy Coo. The centre will also stock Isle of Skye Sea Salt and Isle of Skye Fudge.