Centres rated among best in country

Senior assistant Andrew Heath and TIC managers Matthew Cadger and Susan Clark at Royal Quays TIC celebrate being named one of the best in the country.

Senior assistant Andrew Heath and TIC managers Matthew Cadger and Susan Clark at Royal Quays TIC celebrate being named one of the best in the country.

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TOURIST information centres in the borough have been rated among the best in the country for the service they provide, research by Visit England has revealed.

A Mystery Shopper survey has ranked North Shields Tourist Information Centre as number one in the north east and fifth out of the 275 assessed nationally.

Visit England’s report said it was a ‘pleasure to visit’ and described the level of service as ‘truly exceptional’.

The office, based at the Royal Quays Outlet Centre next to the International Ferry Terminal, welcomed more than 54,000 visitors last year and handled more than 42,000 enquiries.

Meanwhile, its sister office in Whitley Bay was placed 49th in England and sixth in the north east by Visit England.

The Mystery Shopper said their visit was ‘very positive’ and they left with ‘a wealth of information and ideas’.

Mayor Linda Arkley said: “I would like to congratulate our team on giving visitors to North Tyneside such a warm and helpful welcome.

“Tourism makes a significant contribution to the borough’s economy – it’s worth around £240m and supports thousands of jobs.

“We now have the highest rated tourist information centre in the north east.

“But we can also be proud of the fact we have more awards for our beaches than any other part of the region and that the restoration of Tynemouth Station is also award-winning.”