New Yorkshire Tourism Business Founded Thanks to National Funding
A newly launched tourism business for Yorkshire is celebrating this month, as Real Yorkshire DMC is founded by a Leeds-based tourism expert and a Yorkshire Blue Badge Guide to develop luxury packaged holidays in Yorkshire.
Following a five month application process, Real Yorkshire DMC (www.realyorkshiredmc.co.uk), a newly launched specialist B2B travel company based in Leeds is one of a number of successful projects to receive funding from the UK Government’s £40 million Discover England Fund. Real Yorkshire DMC will sell luxury, fully-escorted Yorkshire tours via the travel trade in North America and other key international markets.
The Fund is administered by VisitEngland and involves a programme of activity to ensure that England stays competitive in the rapidly growing global tourism industry, by offering world-class English tourism products to the right customers at the right time. The Fund is a central government-funded programme of activity, supported by match funding by partners in the public and private sectors.
According to VisitBritain , the number of inbound visits to the UK in 2017 grew 4% to a record 39.2 million. The value of spending by inbound visitors increased by 9% in 2017 to £24.5 billion – a new record. VisitBritain research also shows that there were 1.3 million inbound visits to Yorkshire in 2017 with inbound visitors spending £567 million in the county. Yorkshire is gaining popularity as a global tourism destination in its own right and Real Yorkshire DMC wants to capitalize on this, as well as attracting visitors to London who might want to see more of rural England also.
Director and co-founder of Real Yorkshire DMC, Tim Barber, is an official Yorkshire Blue Badge Guide and owner of Tim Barber’s Real Yorkshire Tours, which offers luxury private day tours of Yorkshire. Tim is a Historian-come-Yorkshire-storyteller whose mission is to expose his clients to ‘the proper Yorkshire’ – really getting under the skin of Yorkshire’s Roman & Viking heritage, Norman castles, Tudor houses, stately homes, medieval abbeys, Jurassic coastline, breathtaking national parks, TV locations, film sets and famous Yorkshire folk – more and more of Tim’s clients are coming from across the Atlantic.
Real Yorkshire DMC is also working closely with a number of other Yorkshire businesses who arrange specialist interest tours of Yorkshire to deliver guided culinary tours and ale and gin trails including Yorkshire Food Finder and Brewtown Tours.
Tim said: “most of Real Yorkshire Tour’s bookings come from visitors from the US, Canada & Australia who find us online and want to ensure they see the best of Yorkshire without any hassle. They get a real insider experience into this great county, rather than planning itineraries themselves and missing things.”
Established to sell tours internationally via the travel trade, the business does not sell directly to the public. The packaged tours – all of which showcase the best of what Yorkshire has to offer – will benefit from the global travel marketing expertise of Real Yorkshire DMC’s co-founder – 38-year-old Lyndsey Thomas from Leeds, who is also the owner of Leeds-based tourism marketing agency, All About the Story Ltd.
With over 15 years experience managing tourism product development strategy for high-profile tourism clients including ILoveNY, Hawaii Tourism, Ontario Tourism and Yosemite National Park, Lyndsey is excited to bring her tourism experience to her home county. Lyndsey is also the founder of Girl About Yorkshire – a popular Yorkshire blog which features reviews and recommendations across Yorkshire from local female writers in six of Yorkshire’s towns and cities.
Lyndsey said: “My extensive tourism sector experience, specifically in tourism product development and marketing, and Tim’s incredible knowledge of Yorkshire’s history and geography, along with his Blue Badge Guide status is a winning combination and we are over the moon to have secured this grant which will allow us to take our tours to key international markets. Our target markets for year one are: the USA, Canada & Australia with a strong focus on the silver pound segment first and foremost, followed by the high earning family market”.
She added: “Our end users – whom we’ll reach through the travel trade in each country – are those international visitors who don’t want the hassle of researching and booking many components to create their trip, but want a company with the insider knowledge needed to put an itinerary/tour together on their behalf.”
VisitEngland Chief Executive Sally Balcombe said: “The calibre of submissions to the Discover England Fund reflects the innovation in product development thriving across the country’s tourism landscape. The successful projects will boost international and domestic visitor growth creating a step-change in the industry and spreading the economic benefits of tourism across England.”
“Real Yorkshire DMC’s experience-driven Yorkshire itineraries are packed with the county’s iconic places of interest. With an official Blue Badge Tour Guide leading the tours, international visitors can explore some of England’s truly magnificent history and heritage.”
Sir Gary Verity DL, Chief Executive of Welcome to Yorkshire said: “Yorkshire had a record 2017 for overseas visitors and all the signs are that 2018 is set to be another bumper year for inbound visitors with visitors already hailing from Australia, Singapore, Brazil and Canada to name but a few. It’s great news that Real Yorkshire DMC has received funding from the VisitEngland Fund to develop these new and exciting packaged holidays to Yorkshire to keep attracting those overseas visitors.”