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Library of Birmingham tourist information office closes

Latest blow to library as online services and social media have become the preferred service for people visiting the city

The tourist information office at the Library of Birmingham has closed(Image: RIBA/PA Wire)

The Library of Birmingham tourist information office has been closed - the latest victim of cuts to the landmark facility.

It means tourists will no longer receive dedicated visitor advice, directions and guidance in person at the library.

The news comes a year after Marketing Birmingham closed the dedicated Tourist Information Offices in New Street and at Birmingham Airport.

City bosses say tourists are increasingly using websites and social media to accesss information and there will still be general help available from staff working at the library, Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, hotels and other attractions.

The cuts are the latest to hit the library which has already reduced its opening hours and made dozens of staff redundant earlier this year - although new partnership deals announced last month will see some of those withdrawn.

A Birmingham City Council spokeswoman said: "There is an increasing trend for people to access tourist information online through the likes of the Visit Birmingham website and relevant apps.

"Many of our popular visitor attractions, such as Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery, are open on Sundays for people calling in person and carry a lot of information about the local offer.

"Travel information, which is the main topic of enquiries at our centres, is available at New Street station among other places.

"While we are still offering advice and responses to basic tourist queries, we are looking at how we can best work with transport operators, the private sector, hospitality providers and visitor attractions in future, to ensure that accurate information is available to visitors who need support when coming to Birmingham."

At the time of its tourist information office closures last year, Marketing Birmingham said better, more visitor-friendly signposting around the city centre, as well as use of online information, had reduced demand for face-to-face advice.

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