England

Shake-up to County Durham's tourist information service

Durham Cathedral
Image caption County Durham boasts a number of popular tourist attractions

A number of tourist information offices in County Durham are to close, as part of a shake-up to the service.

The Labour-led authority needs to make a £1m cut in its tourism budget, but said the plans were aimed at providing localised information at more places.

As well as a centralised hub accessed by telephone or e-mail, it said there would be face-to-face or interactive points at several visitor attractions.

These would include Palace Green in the city, and the Bowes Museum.

Councillor Neil Foster, cabinet member for economic regeneration, said: "Our ultimate goal in restructuring our provision is not just to reduce our expenditure, but also to encourage people to stay in the county for longer and to spend more money while they are here."

Ivor Stolliday, chair of Visit County Durham, said: "This new approach is customer focused and matches what we do with the way in which visitors gather and use information before and during their visit to County Durham."

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