The new IW Tourist Information Point at Brading Station.
Picture by Laura Holme.
A FIFTH Tourist Information Point (TIP) opened on the Isle of Wight today (Friday), at the picturesque Brading Railway Station.
It follows the recent opening of TIPs at Ventnor, Brighstone, Ryde and Shanklin, and tourism bosses hope there could be as many as 50 such facilities across the Island by next year.
The ribbon was cut by Brading mayor Cllr Deb Gardiner.
Brading Railway Station, located on the Island Line from Ryde to Shanklin, includes a heritage centre and cafe run by Brading Town Council and manned by volunteers from the Friends of Brading Station.
Visitors will be able to pick up maps and leaflets and speak to trained tourist staff about events and attractions in the area.
IW Council cabinet member for the economy, Cllr Shirley Smart, said: "Although the internet is great for planning a trip away, when I’m on holiday I like to meet local people to get local advice — you can't underestimate that personal touch.
"It is hoped this additional information service will encourage people to stay longer and explore more of our beautiful Island, leading to an increase in spending in our towns and villages. These new information points will also benefit residents by providing a place to get up-to-date information on events, places to eat and things to see and do."
Following the closure of the old tourist information centres, the TIPs have been opened in shops and cafes.
Each one costs around £1,000 to set up, which has been provided by the IW Council. At the end of this year, Visit IW — the Island's private sector-led destination management organisation — will assess the scheme and decide whether to allocate funding to open more.
It is hoped further TIPs will open in Yarmouth, Godshill, Sandown, Newport and the West Wight by the end of the year.