Information centre launched for 2010 visitors

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Port Elizabeth - Three Visitor Information Centres (VICs) were launched in Nelson Mandela Bay on Thursday to ensure tourists arriving in the city for the 2010 FIFA World Cup get the best advice and information.

The three centres are based at the Port Elizabeth Airport, the lighthouse facility at the Donkin Reserve and the Boardwalk Casino and Entertainment World.

These one-stop shops will supply tourists with information on a wide range of services, including reservations, accommodation, tours, vehicle hire, entertainment, adventure and travel tips.

Visitors to the centre will be able to make use of user-friendly touch screens linked to central database of tourism products on offer and the advertisements of local businesses. They can also access free internet and an online booking system at the centres.

"The centres create easy access and awareness of tourism related facilities and attractions within an area.

"They are a key element of the visitor industry and play an integral part in the marketing chain and information distribution system," said Minister of Tourism, Marthinus van Schalkwyk at the launch of the three centres on Thursday.

With more VIC's planned in other cities, including Port Elizabeth, Polokwane, Bloemfontein, Rustenburg and Nelspruit, the minister said South Africa was taking another step in the process of hosting a world class event next year which all South Africans can be proud of.

He said more than 450 000 visitors were expected to arrive in the country and these centres would play a pivotal role in addressing tourism and information services.

Developed at a cost of R 6.7 million, the centres will form part of the legacy project for the 2010 FIFA World Cup and will benefit many visitors in the years to come.