Two years after the Bristol Pound was launched just over 650 businesses in the city are now accepting the currency. The organisation behind the scheme has also revealed that £528,000 of the currency is now in use in the city in both electronic and note form.
The news comes as a brand new tourist map highlighting 100 of the businesses which are involved in the scheme has been published.
The Bristol Pound was launched in September, 2012, and the organisation was aiming to sign up 1,000 businesses within the first 12 months of it being launched.
A spokesman for the organisation told the Bristol Post: “We now have almost 700 businesses who have signed up to the scheme and we have had a very busy couple of months. We have had a very successful year and we are adding new traders all the time.
“The idea of the new map is to attract people who are coming to the city as well as people who live in Bristol. The scheme is about encouraging tourists and visitors to use the currency when they come to Bristol.”
The free pocket-sized map highlights the ‘independence, rich culture and community spirit’ of Bristol, and aims to encourage tourists to use the local to discover the real Bristol.
Designed by EatCake Design, the map shows over 100 businesses in the Old City and Harbourside that accept the Bristol Pound, directing visitors to locally owned small businesses.
Eva Stuetzenberger, from tourism and business organisation Destination Bristol, added: “Bristol is a place where the wares are as varied as the customers, where the food is locally sourced and not replicated in hundreds of identical outlets across the country, and where the shop keepers spend time to listen and talk to their customers.”
Katie Finnegan-Clarke, communications manager at the Bristol Pound, said: “Visitors love the Bristol Pound as a quirky Bristolian souvenir, but in spending it they are actually doing a great thing for the city.
“This map will help bring visitors together with traders that we know they all love, whilst giving a huge boost to those local businesses that help make our city so special.”
Visitors can collect the free Tourist Map from participating businesses, or from the Bristol Tourist Information Centre.
Seven new Bristol Pound cashpoints have opened in recent weeks which are also included on the map.
Bristol is Britain’s fourth most visited city.
In 2013 the city attracted nearly two million domestic visitors, who spent a total of £339 million.
Relative to the city’s size, this is a far greater spend than Manchester or Birmingham.
Even more visitors are expected for Bristol’s Green Capital year which launches next year.
Over 7,000 tourist maps have been distributed to more than 100 businesses in the Old City and Harbourside areas.