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Out with the old and in with the new Isle of Man Welcome Centre 30 April 2007

As Minister for the Department of Tourism and Leisure, I’m pleased to announce an important customer service initiative for visitors and residents alike with the opening of the brand new Isle of Man Welcome Centre at the Sea Terminal which will open its doors to the public next Friday 4 May at 9.00am.

The Centre, which is located in the department’s old ground floor offices, can now be accessed to the left on entering the Sea Terminal through the main entrance and its objective is to provide year round information on an exciting programme of events, attractions, leisure facilities, entertainments and travel options on the Island.

This bright modern customer friendly centre will be open 7 days a week - importantly before and after work, and is designed to meet the leisure and entertainment needs of visitors and residents. As well as continuing to provide a wide range of tourist literature, maps, information on tours, attractions, hotels and events there will also be knowledgeable travel and box office team members on hand to cover all transport and entertainment enquiries and requests. Within the centre, retail space provides a full and varied selection of Manx gifts and souvenirs, as well as creating a showcase for the work of top local artists and crafts people.

The new one stop centre will accommodate the tourism information team already based at the Sea Terminal, the Villa Marina and Gaiety Theatre Box Office, providing tickets and information on all performances at both venues, along with the Bus and Rail Travel Shop, previously sited alongside the bus station. With the recent development of online ticketing for the Villa and Gaiety, the new centre supports this for personal callers by providing tickets 7 days a week, for extended hours each day and with free car parking outside.

I fully expect the new Isle of Man Welcome Centre to make a great difference to the visitor experience, as well as providing easy access, customer support and information for our residents. This is part of a Department programme to significantly improve customer service standards on our Island, which began with the Manx Welcome Training Programme. Our aim in the Department is to continue to improve the quality of care for holiday makers and residents to ensure high standards are maintained. My team and I are looking forward to greeting our customers and they can be assured of a warm and friendly Manx welcome at our new centre.

Opening hours are 7 days a week, Monday to Saturday 8am until 7pm and Sunday 10am until 3pm. More information on the Villa Marina and Gaiety Theatre events and concerts can be obtained by visiting the website www.villamarina.com

For more information on buses and trains visit www.iombusandrail.info

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