Tourism body says surge in online interest points towards recovery

Welcome to Yorkshire says the latest online data suggests a potentially brighter future ahead for the county’s embattled tourism industry.

And the tourism organisation has released a recovery plan for the region, under the banner of “Reopen, Recover and Rebuild.”

It has published statistics suggesting interest in the county as a place to visit has dramatically increased as the UK emerges from lockdown.

In May, saw traffic increase by 47% compared to April with 91% of visitors clicking on the website for the first time.

Traffic to members’ listing pages saw an increase of 45% with links directly to member websites also up by 42%.

Welcome to Yorkshire also says the decision to rebrand its membership social media feeds, to have a greater focus on industry specific news, has paid off with visitors turning to for information and guidance on COVID-19 specific related content.

Traffic to the industry website during May was up by 52%, with again a big increase from new visitors (85%).

Welcome to Yorkshire chief executive, James Mason, said: I have made no secret about the fact that we have so much digital potential going forward and this can provide valuable insight for the industry and key decision makers.

“We saw a big volume of organic impressions across our social accounts in April when lockdown really kicked in reaching 4,108,503 accounts in April alone, up by 24% compared to March.

“Our creative and digital team, in fact the whole organisation, has worked non-stop since COVID-19 struck.

“Our aim was to lead from the front with engaging, yet important, information for the industry.

“I think these statistics prove more than ever that Welcome to Yorkshire is a viable proposition, but more importantly has a huge part to play in the region’s recovery, both as an economy and tourist destination.

“The suggestion is that the UK ‘staycation’ market is really set to boom.”

He added the organisation also saw a big increase in its social media engagement across the last six weeks.

Digital director, Pete Wilson, said: “We have to be encouraged by visitor volume and engagement across all platforms and it is something we have worked hard to achieve.

“Since formal lockdown began we have seen a reach of 9,709,714. This is reinforced with a huge increase of new visitors coming to our sites to see what Yorkshire has to offer.

“Which is a really positive step forward in challenging times.”

 The Yorkshire tourism sector is worth £9bn to the county’s economy and employs almost 225,000 people.