Tourism group eyes even more visitors to coast

Whitby Beach
Whitby Beach

WELCOME to Yorkshire has announced its targets for increasing tourism on the Yorkshire coast, which it hopes will provide a much-needed boost to the local economy.

The tourism body hopes that by 2013, visitors to the area will spend a total of £447m, at a rate of £74 per person, and hope to increase the number of overseas visitors by 2%.

Gary Verity, chief executive of Welcome to Yorkshire, said: “We are working hard to promote Yorkshire regionally, nationally and internationally throughout our award-winning marketing campaigns as well as through digital media, press, TV and broadcast.

“This includes not just generating news stories but also regularly hosting journalists and TV crews from around the world.

“We support a wealth of events across the county and promote these to again drive visitors to the area, such as the upcoming Whitby Regatta.”

Welcome to Yorkshire is keen to increase the numbers visiting the coast outside of the traditional high season and Mr Verity added: “We are encouraging event organisers to host their events out of season to help attract a steady stream of tourists throughout the year.

“For instance, the UK Professional Surf Tour will come to Scarborough for the first time on 1 and 2 October and there’s also the extension of the Pickering War Weekend into Whitby the same month.

“We are working hard and latest statistics show that in the first quarter of 2011, visits to Yorkshire grew by 14% compared to the same period last year.

“The total increase in the UK was 5% for the same period.

“While we are not resting on our laurels, Yorkshire’s profile has never been higher and we fully intend to continue building on our successes, particularly with London 2012 looming.

“The world’s eyes will be on the UK and we want a slice of the action – which is why we are busy raising the county’s profile and we are working to maintain that momentum.”

Other targets highlighted include increasing business tourism activity by 4%, improving visitor information provision, ensuring robust tourism research data is available to inform future strategies and developing business and destination plans for each resort.