Our Tourist Information Office has twinned themselves with lovely Matignon in Brittany, France.
Volunteers from Matignon have visited Easingwold during June and our own Volunteers have visited Matignon in return this September and a great friendship has developed between the two groups!
Good news for our tourist office friends in Matignon : Despite significant cutbacks as in the UK, their office has been secured for at least the next two years. However after municipal elections in 2014 this policy may change depending on the new local authority and their stance towards tourism in the local economjy.
Contrary to what takes place in Great Britain, French tourist offices must be subsidised by local authorities and volunteer run (or “private”) tourist offices are not permitted! So either the office is supported by the local authorities or it closes. At least our volunteer office in Easingwold is strongly supported both by the local authorities and tourism bodies!
After the summer, the Matignon tourist office managers had very numerous meetings with their local mayor who seemed to offer their support, but always came up with excuses as to why they could not which led to much wasted time as each meeting required new arguments to save the office for another year. In the end though, the Mayors agreed to keep the office open!