Exeter’s visitor attractions have scooped a hat-trick of top awards from an online review site
TripAdvisor, which is the world’s biggest online travel review website, has awarded its coveted Certificate of Excellence to the city’s Red Coat Guides, the Underground Passages and Exeter Guildhall.
Now in its fifth year, the TripAdvisor award celebrates excellence in hospitality and is given only to services that consistently achieve great reviews on TripAdvisor by continually delivering a high quality customer experience. 2015 is the third consecutive year that the Red Coat Guides have received the accolade and this year the Underground Passages and the Guildhall have also been recognised.
All three of the attractions are run by Exeter City Council and Lead Councillor for Economy & Culture, Cllr Rosie Denham, said: “I think this is a fantastic achievement. We were delighted when the Red Coat Guides received the award for the last two years but for them to do it again, and for the Underground Passages and the Guildhall to emulate them, is fantastic news.
“It speaks volumes for the staff and volunteers who deliver these services and once again highlights what an amazing city Exeter is and what a variety of attractions we have to offer visitors as well as those who live and work in here.”
Exeter’s Underground Passages, which date from the 14th century, are open throughout the year. A visit includes a chance to view a fascinating exhibition, a film presentation and a guided tour underground. The original use of these unique passages was to bring clean drinking water into the city through lead pipes from natural springs lying outside the city walls.
Nina Corey, the supervisor based at the passages said: “Winning the TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence is a fantastic achievement for us and we’d like to thank all of our visitors who took the time to complete a review on TripAdvisor.
“There is no greater seal of approval than being recognised by one’s customers and the accolade is a remarkable vote of confidence to our business and our continued commitment to excellence.”
The Red Coat Guided Tours are walking tours of the city and the service is co-ordinated by the city council’s Tourist Information Centre. The tour programme is reviewed annually and there are currently 16 different tours available plus a number of special tours at various times in the year. Unlike the vast majority of guided tours around the country there is no charge made for Exeter’s tours and all of the guides are volunteers. The tours are available every day of the year with the exception of Christmas day and Boxing Day.
Exeter’s historic Guildhall has been at the centre of the city’s civic life for more than 800 years. A building of outstanding architectural interest it is still in use for a variety of civic events and meetings of the full council. The building is open for viewing at various times throughout the week and no charge is made. It can also be hired for private events such as weddings.
When selecting Certificate of Excellence winners, TripAdvisor takes into account the quality and quantity of reviews and opinions submitted by travellers on their website over a 12-month period as well as the business’s ranking on the Popularity Index on the site. To qualify, a business must maintain an overall TripAdvisor rating of at least four out of five, have a minimum number of reviews and must have been listed on TripAdvisor for at least 12 months.
“TripAdvisor is pleased to honour exceptional hospitality businesses that have received consistent praise and recognition by travellers on the site,” said Marc Charron, President of TripAdvisor for Business. “By putting a spotlight on businesses that are focused on delivering great service to customers, TripAdvisor not only helps drive increasing hospitality standards around the world, it also gives businesses both large and small the ability to shine and stand out from the competition.”
Further details on all three attractions can be found on Exeter City Council’s website: www.exeter.gov.uk
(from a press release)