Winchester’s Visitor Information Centre recently won the top prize at the Beautiful South Tourism Awards.   

The awards, which took place on Tuesday December 12 in Brighton, are organised by Tourism South East and celebrate the outstanding achievements of tourism businesses.

The Winchester team’s gold was awarded in the Visitor Information Service of the Year category, sponsored by Services for Tourism. 

Winchester’s Visitor Information Centre is based in the Guildhall and is managed by the city council. Each year, it helps more than 100,000 visitors. 

The judging saw the Visitor Information Centre visited three times: in person; by telephone; and via email. The centre also needed to showcase its commitment to ethical, responsible and sustainable tourism, amongst other criteria.  

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Cllr Lucille Thompson, cabinet member for business and culture, said: “I was delighted to attend the awards in person and it was a real honour to be able to go up to the stage with Sarah Harfield who runs our Visitor Information Centre to receive the award on the team and the council’s behalf. 

“Getting to the nomination stage of the awards is a feat in itself and I’d like to thank the team for putting in such a lot of work to secure it. I send huge congratulations to them on this success.

“Our Visitor Information Centre supports local artists and producers, and tourism and hospitality businesses, in addition to encouraging visitors to make the most of their time in Winchester, which supports our visitor economy. The excellent work of the team plays a crucial role in ensuring that visitors will then go on to recommend our great city and district to others.” 

Fran Downton, chief executive of Tourism South East, said “We could not be prouder of all our wonderful finalists at this year's Beautiful South Awards. They have all worked incredibly hard throughout 2023 and it is our pleasure to reward and recognise the high standards. They set our region amongst the best in the country.”

The centre is open from 10am to 5pm Monday to Saturday and can be contacted on 01962 840500, by e-mailing or via the website