Second Time Lucky for Local Tourism Team?

Hammersmith & Fulham hoping to win at Visit London awards

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Jamil Chedid (left), director of the Nut Case, a speciality nut shop that is one of the stops on regular Middle Eastern Food Tour, a free guided walking tour of Shepherd's Bush.

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Members of the public wishing to learn more about the borough’s attractions can visit www.visithammersmith.co.uk, www.visitfulham.co.uk and www.visitshepherdsbush.co.uk or call the visitor centre on 020 8748 3079.

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Hammersmith & Fulham council will be hoping to make it second time lucky next month after being nominated at the Visit London awards for the second consecutive year. The council’s visitor development team will be rubbing shoulders with the likes of the London Eye, Tate Modern and the Science Museum at a black tie ceremony at The Roundhouse on November 23 after being recognised in the Best Borough Initiative of the Year category at the awards, often described as the ‘Oscars’ of London tourism.

The nomination is the result of the visitor development team’s continuing Go West campaign, which aims to draw leisure and business tourists to Hammersmith & Fulham, as well as raising awareness of local attractions amongst people living in the borough. The team has created a calendar of free guided walking tours looking at everything from the influence of Indian culture in Fulham to the history of film-making in Shepherd's Bush. The walks have attracted visitors from across London and the south-east. As a result of their success, the team has produced a West London Film Map to encourage people to explore the area’s famous movie locations, such as Hammersmith Bridge (seen in Sliding Doors) and Queen’s Club (Match Point). It has also recently launched three local websites – visithammersmith.co.uk, visitfulham.co.uk, and visitshepherdsbush.co.uk.

Catherine Knight, visitor development officer, says: “We’re delighted to have received this second nomination, which hopefully cements Hammersmith & Fulham’s reputation as a genuine visitor destination. As the centre of the ‘West West End’ the borough offers everything from award-winning restaurants and riverside pubs to fantastic venues such as the Lyric Hammersmith, Shepherds Bush Empire, Hammersmith Palais, Carling Apollo Hammersmith and Riverside Studios. There are top class hotels like the Novotel London West and K-West, and wonderful exhibition centres such as Olympia. But the borough also has a fascinating cultural mix, with Middle Eastern food shops and restaurants in Shepherd's Bush and historic sights like Fulham Palace, Hammersmith Bridge and the Bhavan Centre in the south of the borough. It’s a privilege to be able to make people aware of just how much Hammersmith & Fulham has to offer.”

Jamil Chedid is the director of Nut Case, a speciality nut shop in Shepherds Bush which features on the visitor team’s Middle Eastern Food Tour. “I’ve been very happy to take part in the tours and talk about the preparation of our pistachios and cashews, which we roast ourselves,” says Jamil. “The tours have brought lots of new people into the shop, many of whom later return on their own.”

Cllr Frances Stainton, Hammersmith & Fulham’s cabinet member for regeneration, says: “My congratulations to the visitor development team for securing this second Visit London award nomination, and for continuing to promote Hammersmith & Fulham as a leisure and business destination for both residents and visitors. Tourism in Hammersmith & Fulham now sustains over 7000 local jobs, so it makes sense to encourage people to spend their free time in the area and help support the local economy. Through its tours, maps and guides, the visitor team reminds people of the range of attractions and facilities available, and gives people the opportunity to experience the vibrancy and vitality of West London life.”

The team’s regular walking tours are led by Blue Badge Guides. Previous walks have included: Unravelling Hammersmith Riverside, Fulham Past & Present, West Side Story (Film and TV in Shepherds Bush), and Middle Eastern Food & Culture in Shepherd's Bush. One-off walks have also been organised to celebrate Black History Month and the anniversary of the Battle of Trafalgar.

Hammersmith & Fulham generates the third largest visitor revenue in London after Westminster and Camden.

March 20, 2005