We have officially launched an exciting tourism initiative aimed at encouraging visitors to “drive less” and “see more”.

Developed as part of the Local Sustainable Transport Fund (LSTF) project, a newly-trained team of Travel Ambassadors has been appointed to welcome visitors and encourage them to consider using sustainable transport options during their stay on the Island.

Based at the new Guildhall Visitor Centre in Newport – which forms part of our new headquarters since we relocated to the heart of the Island last month – the four travel ambassadors will also be available at locations across the Island to help anyone who needs travel advice.   These include the ferry ports, attractions, key transport hubs and events both on and off the Island.

With a host of themed events planned throughout the summer including “Bike and Walk” weeks, the “meeters and greeters” will provide information and special offers on some of the Island’s great car-free experiences, from riding an open-top “breezer” bus to hiring bicycles, taking exhilarating countryside walks and enjoying unique views of some of the Island’s unspoilt countryside from the seat of a railway carriage.

David Thornton, CEO, Visit Isle of Wight, said:  “The Travel Ambassadors will play a vital role in helping VIOW and our key stakeholders to spread the word about everything this beautiful Island has to offer.

“Visitors can appreciate their surroundings far more if they are taking the bus or train instead of automatically jumping in their car.  By taking public transport holidaymakers are also putting money back into the local economy and benefitting by connecting with local communities”.

Zoe Stroud, LSTF Visitor Project Manager, said: “We want visitors to have the most up-to-date knowledge of how to get around the Island and make the most of their visit.    Our ambassadors are passionate about using social media to share their experiences of enjoying car-free activities and connecting with people even before they arrive.

“We are keen to develop the service further and would like to hear from tourism providers who feel they could help us to build new opportunities and benefit from the new service.  If this applies to you, then please e-mail”.

The opening times of the Guildhall Visitor Centre in Newport are:  Monday – Friday 10.30 to 3.30 and Saturday 10.30 to-2.30, with later opening times on special event days.