Tourism boosted by £12m

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WHITBY’S 2011 tourism season has been given a boost as £10 million is pumped in to Welcome to Yorkshire.

The tourist board has secured the funding from regional development agency Yorkshire Forward, which is set to close in March 2012.

Bosses at Welcome to Yorkshire say the investment means the continuation of high impact marketing campaign and the development of festivals and events as well as support for the many thousands of tourism businesses across the county to develop their product and skills.

It will also be used by Welcome to Yorkshire to help develop a new funding model beyond 2012, after Yorkshire Forward is disbanded.

Scarborough Borough Council’s tourism manager Janet Deacon, who has recently been appointed an area director for Welcome to Yorkshire, explains what the funding will mean for the borough.

She said: “It is fantastic news for Scarborough that the funding has been secured as it will allow Welcome to Yorkshire to continue to undertake the large campaigns to attract people to Scarborough.

“It also means Scarborough will continue to be promoted national and internationally, along with the rest of Yorkshire, as a place to visit.”

Welcome to Yorkshire has provided funding and sponsorship for a number of attractions in Scarborough including the new Open Air Theatre and the Cricket Festival, both of which will receive further sponsorship from the organisation in 2011, as well as this year’s Coastival.

Gary Verity, chief executive of Welcome to Yorkshire, said: “We are delighted to be entrusted with continuing the job of promoting Yorkshire and developing tourism.

“We have already seen the impact of investment in high profile marketing, both in terms of increased visitors to the county and in changing perceptions of Yorkshire as a place to visit, work or invest in.

“Visits to Yorkshire are up 22 per cent since Welcome to Yorkshire was launched and for every £1 invested by Yorkshire Forward in the industry it has delivered £40 back into the Yorkshire economy.”

Since the launch of Welcome to Yorkshire the region’s tourism industry has grown in value from £5.9 billion to almost £7 billion, and 4000 new jobs have been created in the industry.

Thea Stein, chief executive of Yorkshire Forward, said: “Yorkshire Forward and Welcome to Yorkshire have always shared the same objective. This is to continue the excellent work the organisation has carried out in supporting and developing the visitor economy – a vital component of the region’s economic success.”