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Bridport Tourist Information Centre

How to save West Dorset’s Tourist Information Centres: lessons from South Korea

New research finds that tourists who use social media visit Tourist Information Centres more often.

So, when West Dorset District Council suggests that it could stop funding TICs because “developments in new technology and in consumer behaviour require a radical change in information delivery across the tourism sector,” the council may be about to make a mistake.

Because the biggest trend in modern internet usage is for more and more time to be spent on social media.

Tourists want proper, reliable information from real people they can talk to so as to make sure they’re getting the best experiences for themselves and great material to share online.

Those are the most important findings from new research done by academics in South Korea, published in the international journal Tourism Management.

Rather than choosing to stop funding TICS, could West Dorset District Council instead help to make them busier, more useful to tourists and to the areas in which they’re based, and more financially successful?

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A row of houses along South Street, Bridport, with The Chantry to the right

Was Bridport’s oldest building really a lighthouse?

The oldest and perhaps the oddest place in Bridport is The Chantry, down South Street. In medieval times it was lived in by two priests who used to get through nearly 50 pints of beer a week and eat lots of salted fish, peas and beans. When they had guests such as the Rector of Bridport, they used to order even more ale. We know this because the priests kept meticulous records of their spending.

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Terence Stamp in the 1967 film classic Far From the Madding Crowd

In the midst of the Madding Crowd once again

With the classic 1967 film of Far from the Madding Crowd being re-released this spring as well as a completely new version in cinemas from 1 May, it seems that once again Dorset is under the spell of Thomas Hardy’s novel

The Yarn loves John Schlesinger’s romantic 60s romp starring Julie Christie, Terence Stamp and Alan Bates and many local people will remember it being filmed on location in the area. Published here for the first time, Nick Gilbey shares the photos he took of the production as a film-mad teenager following the crew in his trusty Robin Reliant three-wheeler.

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A Dorset fingerpost sign

No-one’s pointing the finger, but…

Now then. If you live in the Bride Valley, could you have a look in your under-stairs cupboard for a vital part of Long Bredy’s fingerpost? The parish council is having a go at restoring the village’s traditional old and rather weary signposts.

An important mission, because one wrong turn in that neck of the woods will send you merrily on your way to Abbotsbury and the dragons there be beyond, when you wanted to get to the great metropolis of Dorchester.

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An ambulance in West Dorset

How long would you wait for an ambulance?

How long do you expect to wait for an ambulance? Ten minutes? Twenty minutes? An hour? What if the ambulance doesn’t come quickly — what would you do?

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