A NEW set of pocket guides will be introduced to stimulate tourism in parts of Hampshire.

The 24-page booklets have been produced for visitors to Bishop’s Waltham and Wickham, with a brief history of the area, in a bid to redesign the way the areas are advertised.

A consultation was held between local businesses and agencies, Glow in Wickham and PMDC Design in Droxford, to create a more individual look to the previous guides.

Heidi Isa, Winchester City Council’s market towns development officer, coordinated the production of the guides with support from the Visit Winchester team, also based at the Council.

She said: “We have been focusing on developing footfall to these beautiful market towns by implementing a series of measures such as events promotion and brand development. The Pocket Guides mean we can showcase all this hard work in one place directly to visitors to the area.

“The next step of the project will be to distribute the guides further afield in order to encourage day-trippers to the towns.”

Cllr Robert Humby, leader of Winchester City Council and portfolio holder for Economic development and Tourism, added: “We applaud the proactive attitude of the communities of both Wickham and Bishop’s Waltham. The projects are great examples of local people seizing timely opportunities with business backing - and Winchester City Council has been only too pleased to lend its support to Wickham Parish Council, Bishop’s Waltham Chamber of Commerce and its Town Team.

“Both destinations are situated in prime locations to be bases for the South Downs National Park. The Destination Management Partnership founded by Winchester City Council is always looking to cross-promote both the Winchester and South Downs destinations and the rural areas are a key focus in this as the National Park represents a good opportunity to reinvigorate tourism with far-reaching economic benefits.”

Guides are available at Winchester Tourist Information Centre, cafés and shops in Bishop’s Waltham and Wickham, and will soon be available at a selection of hotels and destinations across the region.