Every year millions of people travel from where they live to another country for a holiday. Sometimes they
already know the countries that they are visiting, but often it's a country that they know little about.
So where can they get information to help them?
From tourist information offices! Find out how by listening to Mark Leach. a tourist information officer.
My name's Mark Leach. I'm senior information officer at the Britain Business Centre, which is a tourist office
for the British Tourist Authority, in London. Here we offer a tourist information service to mainly visitors from
overseas and each year we have about 500,000 to the office.
I am a supervisor of the information team, one of two, and the information team has about ten officers
who give tourist information directly over the counter to visitors. We speak a total of 13 languages altogether.
We are helping people plan itineraries; where to go in Britain, where can they stay, advice on what to do
when you are there, give train information etc.
We act as a one stop shop for anyone who wants to come in, needing help on any matter whatsoever to
do with tourism. So it could be that they want a daytrip from London, that's a very popular request, and
we can offer suggestions of where to go and how to get there. People want a two week tour of Britain,
we can plan out exactly where to visit, what roads to take. So it can be very detailed or it can just be very simple.
Did you work what those words meant? Well, test yourself with this quick quiz.
Click on the answers that you think are right and then press 'Check Answers'.
Mark's four top tips on visiting the United Kingdom
A good suggestion is to see, obviously, as much as you can but try and come back again and again to see
different parts of the country, because you really experience it if you visit one place and explore that area in
depth. So you'll spend one time in Scotland, Wales or England.
Take full use of information that we can provide you. We have got lots of years of knowledge so we can tell
you exactly what's worth doing and what's the best way of doing it. For lots of people, Britain can be expensive
so we try and tell different ways of getting places, bed and breakfast is a very good option, for example, instead of
five star hotels. So we can offer a wide range of information.
Speak to the Tourist Office in your own country, the British Tourist Authority, and they can tell you what visas
you might need, what passports you might need, also what money you should bring over and how much things
are going to cost.