[YARMOUTH, NS] — The Yarmouth Visitor Information Centre is now handling work that used to be done at a Halifax call centre.
Seven seasonal jobs at the VIC have now become year-round positions, and four additional seasonal employees will be added for the summer season.
Sherie Hodds, with Economic and Rural Development and Tourism, says the move is creating good jobs and is a boost to the Yarmouth economy, making better use of government staff and saving the taxpayer money overall.
“As a result of a shift in how potential visitors research and plan their trips, the volume of calls for visitor information has decreased substantially in Nova Scotia over the last few years,” she said.
“Half of the calls we now receive are requests for travel literature, which do not require detailed visitor counseling.”
The province decided to transfer the work to Yarmouth when its contract ended in August with the Blue Ocean Contact Centre.
Requests for travel literature will be handled by the existing Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations call centre, and reservations and travel counseling calls will be directed through the new contact centre in Yarmouth, managed by staff at the Yarmouth visitor information centre.
During periods of heavy call volume, VICs in Digby, Pictou and the Halifax Waterfront will support the Yarmouth contact centre.
“Staff at our VICs have years of experience providing assistance to visitors. They have excellent product knowledge and receive ongoing training ,” said Hodds.
The transition from Blue Ocean to the Yarmouth contact centre was completed on Oct. 1.
Although the call centre is a year-round venture operating out of the facility on Forest Street, the visitor information centre itself — which provides information and material to tourists and residents — closed for the season on Monday, Oct. 10.