St George’s Visitor Information Centre Upgraded

August 21, 2014

The first of three Visitor Information Centre [VIC] upgrades is complete, the Bermuda Tourism Authority [BTA] announced today.

The BTA said, “The St. George VIC, located on the waters-edge in King’s Square, was the first to be overhauled with technological features, layout enhancements and a fresh coat of bright pink paint to provide a cheerful island welcome to visitors.”

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“A focused improvement of our tourism product is a core objective of the National Tourism Plan and that is why we are excited to see these upgrades at the VIC,” said BTA CEO Bill Hanbury.

“These improvements are true to our integrated branding plan and will help us to build both product awareness and trust with our valuable visitors.”

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The BTA said the St. George VIC has an “open-plan layout – accommodating a reception area, seated lounge area and desk area that can be used for organizing tours or writing postcards.

“There is free Wi-Fi available for the first ten minutes of use for checking emails and messages. Longer Wi-Fi access is available for a modest fee. Multiple display racks provide a wealth of organized information at the visitor’s fingertips.”

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“Seasoned St. George history specialist, Philip Anderson, manages the east end VIC with assistance from volunteers who provide expert facts and anecdotal references that bring the storied town to life.

“Tourism partners near and around the VIC help visitors connect the historical dots as they venture from the central hub of the town to navigate the various points of interest.”

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Mr. Hanbury said, “I’m thrilled to see the St. George VIC modernised first because we believe strongly in the development of art and culture tourism in Bermuda and the east end is an extremely valuable hub in that regard.”

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The St. George upgrades were finished August 13th. Dockyard and Hamilton VICs will follow with renovations beginning in 2015.

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The BTA added, “All three VICs will be modern, attractive and decidedly pink. The unique pink branding allows visitors to easily identify the help centres, while giving a uniformed look and feel no matter what part of the island the centre is located.

“The look was extended more subtly to the Hamilton Bus Terminal with new signage displaying public bus schedules and routes. Mounted centrally near the terminal’s information window, the sign is flanked in the branded pink hue used at the St. George VIC.

“Investment in similar upgrades to various tourism assets is ongoing and made possible in part to the gracious cooperation and collaboration with the Corporation of St. George and the Department of Public Transport and other industry stakeholders.”

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  1. Visitor Information Centre Improvement Plans - Bernews.com : Bernews.com | November 14, 2014
  1. HaHa says:

    Looks like the same crap, just a new coat of pink paint if you ask me!

    • We Are Not Amused! says:

      It is the same just a different coat of paint!
      BUT if they really wanted Visitors in they would get rid of the local drunks that hang around drinking and cursing at the top of the voices,leaving their trash around and pestering tourists.

    • X man says:

      Looks Nice and the Colur looks Bermudian – to you it may look like crap but – what would you have done on a tight buget?

  2. Keep up the good work Phillip! :-)

    • X man says:

      Yep’ Phillip is the right person for the Job.- very good personality, a good attitude and knows his stuff.

  3. Triangle Drifter says:

    Free WIFI for only 10 minutes!!!!! Are you kidding????

    Go anywhere else that thinks of itself as a desirable destination & free WIFI is all over the place. Stop at most any state welcome center along the highway & unlimited free WIFI is there. WIFI is available at some rest stops too. Go into any town library & free unlimited WIFI is available. Many restaurants have free unlimited WIFI.

    St Georges should be ashamed of themselves! 10 minutes!!! What are you supposed to do with 10 minutes? If you are going to charge, give a minimum of 1 hour free in any 24 hour period.

    • Hurricane says:

      @ Drifter, my sentiments exactly. 10 minutes is nothing and to charge for WiFi is just greedy

    • Edmund Wells says:

      TD-

      I understand your thought, but I’d guess that, since it’s a visitor center, the idea is for traffic to flow in and out, and not sit around (like Starbucks in the US).

      Offering unlimited free wi-fi invites both tourists and locals camping out and detracting from what the center is supposed to accomplish.

      Think its a tough balance to strike.

      EW

      • Hurricane says:

        @Edmund Wells, if locals can go in and take advantage of free internet they can also go in and pay what is said to be the “modest fee”. At the end of the day, hopefully they can work something out that visitors internet use is free.

        • Edmund Wells says:

          Hurricane-

          I understand your point of view, but believe there are good arguments on both sides- limited free access or complete free access.

          To me, it’s not the St. Georges Visitor Center and WiFi Cafe. Offering limited free wifi as a convenience seems a good compromise, an accommodation to visitors. It reduces the risk that the Center becomes crowded with those using wifi, ignoring the Visitor Center features and making it more difficult for those that do want to use those features.

          If visitors (and locals) are willing to pay for longer access, there are other places besides the Visitor Center where that can be done, like CV Cafe.

          EW

      • BDA18 says:

        agreed – if it was unlimited wifi – it would look like dockyard.

      • Triangle Drifter says:

        In all of my driftings I have never observed a jam up of people in welcome centers using WIFI. Most have an external router antenna covering the parking area. Same should be done in St Georges covering the square. Not hard or expensive to do.

        Yes there will be a few junkies who can’t put the device away but most will do some personal stuff then perhaps search local sites for places to eat & things to do.

        • Edmund Wells says:

          TD-

          I understand your view. But the state welcome centers you mentioned in your prior post are typically along interstate highways, where there’s little walk-in traffic. So people in those centers using wifi are travelers, anticipating, but not yet at their destination (which they would be in the St George VC), and, more than likely, not locals looking for free wifi.

          Extending wifi to the entire square is a different solution and one that would also work, since users wouldn’t be forced to stay inside the Visitor Center for access. Not sure who would pay for that (not sure who pays at Dockyard, either). I’d still have some concern that the lounge area and desk in the VC get occupied for much longer than intended, and think it’s unfair to ask the volunteers to shoo people away if necessary.

          I also think either way will have pluses and minuses, so at the end of the day, it’s pick one and see how good or awful it works out to be.

          EW

      • Tolerate says:

        @Edmund I agree, the Visitor Center should not be clustered with traffic of people there to utilize the Free WiFi. The short time is probably to discourage that while offering a service to make a quick connection to download emails, etc free of charge.
        As the Information Center they should be directing them to places that offer WiFi without hosting it.

        • Tolerate says:

          Also, not sure if the church, or a business in that area offers free WiFi because I often seen loads of people camped out on the church steps with their electronic devices.

  4. Independent says:

    Great stuff.
    The old govt had the Tourist Information desk tucked away up by the liqueur store.Nobody could find it,but someone got a good contract.

  5. Hurricane says:

    Looks nice and fresh. Drop the charge for WiFi. Make it free to visitors…….period.

  6. JHerald says:

    The Visitors Service Bureau was in this very central and accessible building for decades – until the PLP moved it down the street to an impossible to find coffee shop hidden up some steps in a dark corner.

    This was incredibly frustrating for absolutely everyone – but someone in the PLP obviously thought that hiding the information centre away so nobody could find it was actually a good idea.

    This a great example of why PLP was voted out. They didn’t have a clue.

    • X man says:

      The PLP MP from 1998 to 2012 couldn’t care less – wasn’t’ on her radar.- infect nothing in the Town of St.Georges was.– thank God for people like Kenny Bascomb and others.

  7. Hurricane says:

    @ JHerald, just in case you need reminding the PLP are still out. It seems like you are having problems moving on. LET IT GO!

    • JHerald says:

      Hurricane: I was merely attempting to demonstrate that, given the simplest of obvious decisions, the PLP were too incompetent for words. This is something we should never forget. This quite simple didn’t have a single clue. They were beyond incompetent.

      And yet there are people who would still vote for them given the chance. The mind boggles.

      To say a bunch of children could do better, would be an insult to young people everywhere.

      That’s how bad PLP were. Again – we must never forget what these incompetents did.

    • Triangle Drifter says:

      “Let it go.” Do you mean forget the past? Maybe you mean forget the recent past, the past where people who created it are still around, but don’t forget the distant past where people who created it have been long dead many generations ago?

      There are too many people who are like dogs. Not that they look like dogs. Anyone with eyes can see that. But they live like dogs. They live in the present. They need constant reminding of who did what to them in the very recent past otherwise they will forget & believe anything some slick salesman in a pulpit will tell them.

  8. somuchless says:

    Now that they posted the bus routes and schedules (right at the depot) I hope the buses actually operate lol

  9. Onion Seed says:

    Well done! Free WiFi for a quick message check before exploring the town is a nice touch.
    I look forward to seeing the upgrades in Hamilton and Dockyard.

  10. Ace Girl says:

    You cannot be serious. All of this funding for the BTA to come up with a sparse pink room, and ten minutes of free wifi. Everywhere else in the world, major city centers have free wifi. There is nothing strategic about this Authority. A first year tourism student could have come up with this! Get the resident tourists to Bermuda before you start developing information centers. Where is the blueprint for the Tourism short term and long term plan? This is a sorry attempt at rectifying a major problem. Mr. Hanbury appears to be a nice man, but there is nothing new or innovative from this team thus far. Well I guess when you employ at great expense, individuals with no tourism education background these are the results. Is there an accountability aspect for all of these employees? Will they have to justify their salaries by a given time. If not, we are back to the same old bureaucratic system. You need to rethink the ‘jobs for the boys’ David.

  11. LickMyChicken says:

    The location was moved. The Vic was in the second to last unit and the Vic has switched to the end unit therefore renovations needed to be done. DON’T BE FOOLED.

  12. SMH says:

    Please spare me!!! The reason for the VIC being in that small space is because when you was awarded the contract you had to provide your own building. Therefore the person that had the VIC in that small place is because that was the only building they could afford. Furthermore the BTA isn’t doing ANYTHING DIFFERENT from what the BDOT did !!!!!!! Don’t be FOOLED PEEPS.

  13. Intractive flatt screen tv indicating places of interest with a map,gps devices to rent or complimentary would be nice.Drunks should relocate.Or be given their own area that would be cleared out for uncouth behaviour on the offending day.What St. Georges really needs are a few shrewd buisiness people purchasing “Segways”,bycycle helmets,and opperating leisurely tours from said place ,or a Walt disney style tram,but smaller….and a few of them.man and woman team tour guides.