A new era of visitor servicing is underway as Horsham Town Hall becomes the new home for tourist information and regional promotion.
Councillors in May endorsed a plan to move the Horsham and Grampians Visitor Information Centre in O’Callaghans Parade to a new hub in the heart of the city.
The new and modernised service will initially operate Monday to Friday from 10am to 4pm.
The relocation was part of a series of recommendations from the Grampians Tourism Visitor Servicing Review Report.
Horsham Rural City Council Chief Executive Officer Sunil Bhalla said the increase in Melbourne people travelling to regional Victoria provided a valuable boost.
“With the easing of restrictions in Melbourne, many people are travelling regionally to visit family and friends and we look forward to welcoming travellers to our area,” Mr Bhalla said.
“By bringing visitors to the heart of the city, we envisage better results for local businesses. We will also provide visitors with a more direct experience of our city and its social, retail and service options.
“We are hoping the new location will also give our retailers a boost as they look to bounce back from the impact of COVID-19.”
Many regional Councils, including Ararat Rural City Council, have moved to provide visitor services at existing high-visitation spaces such as libraries, galleries and museums.
Mr Bhalla said concerns about the availability of parking for caravans has been considered.
Extra signs have been installed to direct travellers to the new location whilst changes to all existing signage has also been completed.
“Caravan parking will be available opposite the entrance to the Horsham Town Hall in Wilson Street. There is also caravan parking available on Wilson Street near the skate park and on Darlot, McLachlan and Hamilton Streets,” he said.
“We will continue to monitor visitor parking over the coming months as part of the current review of Council’s Car Parking Strategy.”
Mr Bhalla said a COVID-safe environment would be provided.
“Leading up to the summer holidays, staff will survey visitors about their travel plans and use the information gathered to determine how best to provide this service at the Horsham Town Hall.”
“Programming and functions of the Art Gallery and Performing Arts Centre remain closed due to COVID directives, however, when they resume, these services will complement the visitor experience and will not be disrupted,” Mr Bhalla said.
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