Recovery plan launched for region’s tourism industry

Credit: VisitBritain
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Destination marketing organisation Welcome to Yorkshire has unveiled a recovery plan to ‘Reopen, Recover and Rebuild’ the county’s £9bn tourism economy.

The organisation says it has been working with local authorities, national parks, Local Enterprise Partnerships, many businesses and tourism representatives to preserve Yorkshire’s attractions whilst keeping interest high in the county as a visitor destination.

It adds that for some the reopening process is underway as the COVID-19 lockdown eases, whereas other parts of the sector still face uncertainty.

Its recovery plan focuses on key campaigns to support economic growth such as:

  1. A revised business membership with an entry level service offering free support and resources for anyone to sign up to
  2. The launch of a Yorkshire Gift Card to encourage spend within the county
  3. A focused regional support service for North, South, East and West Yorkshire
  4. A nationwide marketing campaign to welcome visitors back to Yorkshire
  5. The launch of a personal membership model to tap into the millions of Yorkshire connections worldwide
  6. A task group will be formed to ensure delivery of the recovery plan

The Yorkshire tourism sector employs almost 225,000 people with many more in supply chain businesses.

Financial losses as a result of COVID-19 are expected to be well into the billions of pounds and Welcome to Yorkshire has written to central government on behalf of small businesses such as B&B owners and hospitality providers.

Welcome to Yorkshire chief executive, James Mason, said: “The team have worked really hard to keep Yorkshire at the forefront of everyone’s minds.

“We were challenged to make a case for the region’s tourism offer and it was one we took on gladly.

“We are all very passionate about our county that has suffered the effects of flooding in recent years and now this life-changing virus.

“Our recovery document has been created with short-term, midterm and long-term objectives to reflect the ever-changing times we are experiencing.

“It must be understood that we will continue to take an organic approach to the situation and have held regular webinars offering up to date practical advice.

“We are working together with public and private sector strategic partners to ensure that the best possible guidance and support is available to the industry.

“We are very much looking forward to gradually welcoming visitors back to Yorkshire when the time is right.

“This has to start with people on our doorsteps, then nationally and eventually internationally. We must bang the big drum to make sure people stop and think, ‘We have to visit Yorkshire’.

“We must also strive to support communities within the county to make sure their offer is attractive to new audiences with continual product development to encourage repeat visitors.”

Welcome to Yorkshire chairman, Peter Box, added: “I am confident that our recovery plan will be a hugely important step forward in rebuilding a successful visitor experience, attracting tourists back to the county and playing its part in helping Yorkshire’s economy recover.”

For more details on the recovery plan, visit www.yorkshire.com/recoveryplan

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