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National Park Centres are tops

[Tuesday 23 November 2010]

Three visitor centres run by the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority (YDNPA) are celebrating being placed in the top five in the county.

The National Park Centre (NPC) in Hawes has just been named the premier Tourist Information Centre (TIC) in Yorkshire by VisitEngland – and has been rated seventh best of the 296 in the country.

And if that wasn’t enough good news, the NPCs at Malham and Aysgarth Falls won fourth and fifth position respectively out of the 48 county TICs and 12th and 14th respectively in the whole country.

The successes follow a phone call, email and visit to each NPC by mystery shoppers who cast a critical eye over everything from the help and advice provided by the staff to the layout and facilities of the individual buildings

Julie Barker, the YDNPA’s Sustainable Tourism Manager, said: “This just confirms what we know already – that visitors receive an excellent service from our staff.

“Tourist Information Centres nationally are assessed annually to ensure the continued high quality service to visitors.

“The result of this year’s assessment by VisitEngland is independent recognition of the standard of work we carry out helping people to understand and enjoy the special qualities of this fantastic landscape.”

The latest accolade follows news last month (October) that the YDNPA became one of the first national park authorities in the UK to be awarded the Government’s new public sector Customer Service Excellence Award.

An external assessor spent two days in the National Park, talking to local communities, visitors, YDNPA staff and volunteers to find out what they thought about the services provided by the Authority.

Stuart Parson, the YDNPA Member Champion for Promoting Understanding, said: “We are justly proud of our staff, who do a great job in the NPCs representing the excellence achieved throughout our superb National Park. It is fantastic that our centres have been recognised in this way – it is a great achievement for our communities.

“The key now is to continue to provide excellent service and to strive to improve for the future assessment.”

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