Bath Visitor Information Centre completely transformed by M Worldwide
Posted by: M Worldwide
Date added: Thu 15 Mar 2012
This week sees the official relaunch, attended by Minister for Tourism & Heritage John Penrose MP, of a completely redesigned and refurbished Bath Visitor Information Centre by retail design and branding agency M Worldwide.
The centre is located on the ground floor of Abbey Chambers, a late 18th Century Grade II listed building in the heart of the city, alongside the Roman Baths and Bath Abbey. Operated by Bath Tourism Plus, the Centre is the second busiest of its kind in the country, currently welcoming over 535,000 visitors each year. It provides comprehensive visitor information on Bath, offers accommodation bookings, ticket sales and a retail shop.
M Worldwide completely transformed the Centre, creating a state-of-the-art destination for visitors to Bath, whilst preserving a flavour of Bath’s heritage which is in line with the local council’s long term strategy and master plan for the city. The revamp also provides functional solutions to increase ticket and retail sales, improve visitor flow especially during peak times, and enhance the visitor experience.
David Martin, Co-Managing Partner at M Worldwide says: “We needed to apply a huge amount of inventiveness to make everything work for visitors, given the external listed building status, internal structural and layout limitations, the multi-functional nature of the site, and Bath Council’s master plan strategy, combined with limited budgets. We think we’ve struck the right balance between the practicalities of making sure the Centre stands the test of time, that it feels inviting and welcoming, and reflects the materials and finishes of a wider city strategy.”
Highlights of the new Bath Visitor Information Centre include:
- Stripping back this rather awkward shaped unit to the bare shell, exposing the ceiling and structure, to provide a feeling of space.
- Application of queue management, traffic flow and accessibility principles to manage navigation and handle the peaks and troughs of visitor numbers.
- Complete reorganisation of the key zones of the site which transform the space planning. This includes a new decompression area upon entry where visitors can orientate themselves and self-navigate according to their needs.
- Closer integration between the retail and tourist information offers through the development of in-store communications and merchandising.
- Specially selected colour, materials and finishes palettes that harmonise the visitor experience with the council’s master plan for the city. For example, the use of copper creates a warm, inviting glow to the site.
- Treatment of external signage and windows to provide stand out for passersby whilst remaining sympathetic to the Grade II status and local community needs.
Nick Brooks-Sykes, Chief Executive of Bath Tourism Plus, says: “The new Bath Information Centre has received unanimous praise from visitors, residents, staff and key stakeholders alike. Our first few weeks of trading indicate that we have achieved exactly what we set out to do when we first briefed M Worldwide to provide a design solution which is not only a statement of Bath’s position as a leading world-class destination and one of the UK’s top three destinations, but also provides improved functionality to further increase sales and enhance the visitor welcome. We are absolutely delighted with the result.”
The Visitor Information Centre is operated by Bath Tourism Plus, the official Destination Marketing Organisation for Bath and the surrounding area. Tourism contributes over £357 million to the local economy of Bath and North East Somerset, providing more than 8,000 jobs – 10 per cent of the total employment in the city.
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