Tourism in Lichfield District

Tourism in Lichfield District was the title of a talk given to members of the Society by Mrs Dianne Broach, the Tourism Manager of the District Council, at our meeting on 19th September. She concentrated her talk on the work of the Information Centre now housed in Donegal House, focussing on three main areas of work of their work. Firstly there is their role in looking after the requirements of visitors to Lichfield. Secondly there is their aim to cater for the needs of local residents who after all are themselves tourists when they visit other laces. Thirdly there is the important function of promoting the county and its facilities as a place which is worthy of a visit and which offers many sources of pleasure; ranging from Alton Towers and Drayton Manor Park to cycle rides on Cannock Chase.

What I found most impressive was the variety of services provided by the Information Centre: Bus and railway timetables, arranging hotel and bed and breakfast accommodation throughout the whole county, booking theatre tickets etc. I once remember Alan Thompson, our former Chairman, saying to me when Wilkinsons opened in Bore Street that it was like an Aladdin's Cave of goods. In a sense the services which Donegal House provides are also an Aladdin's Cave of information, the extent of which we do not perhaps fully appreciate. I cannot do justice to those services available in this Newsletter. All I can do is urge you to pay a visit and find out for yourselves.

Tourism is vital for the economic vitality of the District. We should be proud to show off the area in which we live. However it is necessary to achieve a balance between the promotion of tourism and the ability to cater for it without destroying the inherent character of places - which is the reason why people wish to visit them. The strains of tourism activity are perhaps familiarly demonstrated by the damage done to the footpaths in the Peak District.

It was an informative and enjoyable evening. Our thanks must go to Dianne Broach for the time and trouble which she took to address the Society. I would like to think that she too found the proceedings instructive and, above all, fun.

Mike Tole
September 1996