Workshop aims to spread UK inbound tourism, as Yorkshire numbers grow

The Grand Depart has boosted Yorkshire’s arrivals. Photo credit: chris2766/Shutterstock.com
The Grand Depart has boosted Yorkshire’s arrivals. Photo credit: chris2766/Shutterstock.com

UKinbound and VisitEngland held its first joint workshop recently to help grow the inbound tourism market beyond London.

The two organisations teamed up with England’s Heritage Cities to host more than 750 B2B meetings between tour operators in various regions to help grow tourism outside the capital.

Around 77% inbound visitors have said they would like to see more of the UK but 51% only visit London.

Events such as the Tour de France Grand Depart have already helped to distribute tourism into other areas of the UK.

International tourism to Yorkshire has grown 12% to 1.08 million in the first nine months of 2014 compared to 2013, following the region hosting the start of the cycling race.

Growth was seen from markets including Australia, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain and USA.

Holiday visits in particular were up 32%, with spend increasing 70% to £465 million.

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg and Tourism Minister Helen Grant visited Sheffield on Friday to announce a £10 million fund to help tourism in the north grow further.

“Yorkshire is playing a big part in helping to drive Britain’s record tourism boom. Last year’s Tour de France Grand Depart showcased the best of this wonderful region to the world and now it is about keeping up that momentum,” said Grant. “It is why we have launched a £10 million fund to help strengthen tourism in the North and why the Deputy Prime Minister and I have met key stakeholders in Sheffield, including Welcome to Yorkshire’s Gary Verity, to discuss what more can be done to help further growth in the region.”

There was further good news from David Cameron’s visit to Washington last week where it was announced a £400 million resort will open in the Peak District.

The Peak Resort complex has received funding from US-based Grand Heritage Hotel Group and developer Birchall Properties that will include holiday lodges, a hotel and apart-hotel accommodation as well as a golf course, water sports and spa.

VisitEngland’s chief executive James Berresford said: “It’s fantastic news that the Peaks near Chesterfield will soon be home to a state-of-the-art tourist resort. There is little doubt the Government’s efforts to secure investment for this new facility will help generate a substantial number of new jobs and income for the local visitor economy in the coming years. We know that Derbyshire and the Peak District welcomed 4 million visitors last year who helped generate a staggering £676.7 million for the local visitor economy.”

The next tranche of VisitBritain’s GREAT campaign will focus on the countryside, due to launch in Chatsworth on 29 January.

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