That is quite a shame, because the added value for the latter target group is also obvious. Cécile Zanen should know. Her workplace is VVV Dordrecht, the visitors' centre where everyone is welcome.As a tourist in a foreign city, it is probably more obvious to visit the local tourist office than as a resident of the municipality.
Of course, there are locals among the 100,000 annual visitors to VVV Dordrecht, but a large proportion of the residents have never seen the building on the Spuiboulevard from the inside. "While we have a lot to offer, also to the people of Dordrecht. The residents who have already crossed the threshold have questions about events, recreation in De Biesbosch, paper programmes and public transport, or they buy cycling maps or local souvenirs. The latter is also very popular. I have the impression that today's inhabitants of Dordrecht are much more proud of and curious about their city than the islanders were in the past.
Key chains, magnets, cushions and candles with images of the Grote Kerk or the Town Hall of Dordrecht, among others, are hugely popular, as are local specialities such as sheep droppings. These liquorices are presented in an attractive tin. The Christmas balls with hand-painted Dordrecht icons also proved to be a hit, with reservation lists and all."
Zanen regularly sees people from Dordrecht at the counter who are accompanied by visitors from outside the city. "They want to show their family or friends around, but need a little push in the right direction. Sometimes I hear: 'I have lived in Dordrecht all my life and people say it is such a beautiful city. I immediately believe that, but in fact I seldom go any further than my regular shopping trip through the centre'. At such times, of course, we are ready here with a variety of tips and suggestions. Of course, a lot can be found online, but the added value of VVV Dordrecht lies in the personal contact, the interactive environment and finding the undiscovered gems.
During a conversation, you often quickly find out where someone's interests lie. One person might find an exhibition in the Dordrecht Museum appealing, while another might explore Het Hof van Nederland. Moreover, it does not exclude each other. Dordrecht is fairly compact, so activities are usually easy to combine with each other." Zanen hopes that as many Dordarians as possible will visit VVV Dordrecht. "It is certainly possible to be surprised by one's own home town. There is always something unknown to discover. We like to put people on the right track!