Tourism partnership aims to boost visitor economy

Tourism chiefs from across West Yorkshire came together this week for the inaugural meeting of a new partnership aimed at unleashing the potential of the region’s visitor economy.

The first meeting of the Local Visitor Economy Partnership (LVEP) saw representatives from each of the five West Yorkshire districts join forces with key figures from the tourism sector to begin exploring ways to grow the visitor economy, attract more visitors and inward investment and create job opportunities across West Yorkshire.

The meeting followed a successful joint bid for LVEP status earlier this year by councils in Leeds, Calderdale, Kirklees, Bradford and Wakefield alongside West Yorkshire Combined Authority.

Under the new LVEP programme, developed and administered by VisitEngland, districts will share ideas and resources to improve the offer and make the most of the region’s 65 million annual visitors.

The West Yorkshire LVEP will also be able to access expert advice, dedicated toolkits and training programmes as well as getting support for applications for important national funding.

Tracy Brabin, Mayor of West Yorkshire, who chaired the first meeting of the West Yorkshire LVEP, said: “I’m thrilled that work is underway to showcase our amazing region to the world.

“We’re combining our strengths to ensure that West Yorkshire’s tourism and hospitality businesses can unleash their potential and thrive for years to come.”

The LVEP programme was originally launched nationwide last year after consultation following a government review of Destination Management Organisations across England.

Now it has formed, West Yorkshire’s LVEP will continue working with partners and organisations across the wider Yorkshire region to promote the Yorkshire brand.

Councillor James Lewis, Deputy Mayor of West Yorkshire, said: “It is fantastic to be able to bring together key figures who share the goal of showcasing our unique, vibrant and beautiful region to the world and show why we are all so proud to live and work here.

“Having LVEP status means we are now working more closely with our neighbours across the region, as well as working collaboratively with the tourism sector as a whole to really bring together our unique offer and work towards initiatives which encourage even more people to come and visit us.”

The first meeting of the West Yorkshire LVEP board followed a visit from VisitEngland director Andrew Stokes, who came to Leeds to take in key sites, and speak to leads in the region about new ideas and initiatives the West Yorkshire LVEP is bringing forward in 2024.