14 January 2012

LDS Tourism Services celebrate 20 years in business

We are looking forward to celebrating our 20th anniversary on 1st February 2012.

Specialising in the distribution and display of leaflets and brochures produced by the local tourism and leisure industries, LDS Tourism Services’ familiar swift logo can be seen in visitor attractions, hotels, restaurants, pubs, retail outlets and an assortment of busy establishments throughout North Wales and the North West. Our selection of wall holders, turnarounds and free-standing dispensers are known as Visitor Information Points (VIPs for short) and have become invaluable focal-points for holidaymakers and locals alike.

Diana Bardell-Hedley and I set up a small office in a spare room in 1992, with only a second-hand Post Office van and an Amstrad computer to carry out our work. We gradually built up a reputation for innovation, hard work and reliability, and with it came clients - both large and small- from around the region (nationally, too).

These days the Company has its headquarters in Chester, as well as offices in Wrexham and Llandudno – not to mention a number of sub-depots for storing literature. Our uniformed staff and modern fleet of vehicles can be seen dashing about the region on a daily basis, delivering a range of printed materials.

Diana, now the Managing Director of LDSTS, says: “My late father owned Vince’s Fishing Tackle shop on Lower Bridge Street for many years. He was a larger than life character with a regular column in the Evening Leader and was a very well known face about Town. So it seemed only fitting we should base LDS Tourism Services’ head office in Chester.

“Although we started the business during the financial downturn of the early ‘90s, we are now seeing small businesses struggle like never before and nobody is quite sure how long it will last. However, we are bending over backwards to help our clients.

“Having said that,” she continues, “British tourism seems to be bucking the trend in so many ways. People are becoming nostalgic for the old-fashioned British holidays of their childhoods and it’s noticeable that many caravan parks, B&Bs, traditional inns, barge companies and self catering establishments are positively flourishing.”

Like all businesses that hope to survive the financial crisis, we are fine-tuning our services to suit the times.

“For many years we paid extremely high rental fees to a selection of large national companies in order to have exclusive display rights on their premises,” says Diana. “But it has become apparent over the past couple of years that certain once busy outlets have slipped out of fashion and become quieter than the grave, with more staff than customers loitering about. Our clients, quite rightly, expect us to display their promotional materials in popular sites. Although we still pay rental to a number of major chains where the annual footfall is significant, we now put the emphasis on our Network Services and General Distribution. This allows us to keep our prices down.

“We supply tastefully designed leaflet holders free of charge to tourism operators, then service them on a regular basis, keeping the stands tidy and full of up-to-date information. In return, the outlet owners place our stands in prominent positions within their establishments. I suppose it's a sort of symbiotic relationship that works well for everyone concerned and benefits the local economy.

LDS Tourism Services has successfully branched out into Social Media Marketing in the last couple of years and has several other exciting projects in the pipeline (watch this space). If you would like to know more about these and other services mentioned on the blog, please drop us a line at lds@ldsts.co.uk or visit our website at www.ldsts.co.uk. 

Image: © Roza / Dreamstime.com