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York – ‘the original city adventure’
New marketing drive for UK’s honeypot

A brand new marketing campaign, designed to communicate the huge variety of things to see and do in York and North Yorkshire will go live on 9 February. Part of the new initiative managed by VisitEngland and supported by government, the city will benefit from a £1m campaign announced to encourage British families and couples to spend their Half Term and Easter holidays in the North.

2016 will offer more reasons to visit York than ever before and this new tourism campaign – ‘York - the Original City Adventure’ – will be the biggest domestic tourism campaign yet for York and North Yorkshire. Make It York will be working in close partnership with VisitEngland and VisitBritain with central input from the Department of Culture Media and Sport. This campaign will be high profile, aimed primarily at audiences in London and the South East, as well as key markets in Scotland and the North and using a combination of London Underground posters, national press and digital channels.

Commencing 9th February (and running right through to Easter) the city and its stunning countryside and coast will benefit from impactful advertising across the London Evening Standard, the Metro, the Daily Telegraph, the Times and City AM, with a combined circulation of over 2 million.

‘Sally Balcombe, Chief Executive at VisitEngland/VisitBritain said, ‘With half term and Easter on the horizon there is no better time to give the great British Public a reason to book a short break or holiday, especially to areas which have been affected by the adverse weather in December. This new marketing campaign aims to showcase the best to see and do in York and North Yorkshire, giving local businesses a boost now and for the months ahead’.

The new £1 million DCMS-funded advertising will showcase the world-leading attractions and stunning countryside York and North Yorkshire have to offer. The campaign builds on the Government’s £10 million programme to grow tourism in the North, a new £4 million Holidays at Home are GREAT Campaign, and advertising space worth £500,000 has also been made available at Heathrow to promote York and the North.

‘York – the Original City Adventure’ will focus on the key reasons to visit York and Yorkshire this year; including the return of the Flying Scotsman, the re-opening of York Theatre Royal and the Mystery Plays at York Minster in May. The big reveal for York’s new creative will happen on Monday 9 February when the first posters promoting the city will go live.

Kate McMullen, Head of Tourism, Make It York, said, ‘The look and feel of our new campaign has been developed to get across the fun and adventure you can have here. Following the Boxing Day flooding our immediate priority is to boost short term bookings, however, we’re also planning for the whole year ahead and inviting visitors to create their very own adventure here.’ Supporting the campaign are Virgin Trains East Coast, City of York Council and North Yorkshire County Council. Make It York has brokered a unique partnership with Virgin Trains East Coast, so that customers will benefit from 30% off advanced bookings for twelve weeks from 9 February.

North Yorkshire County Councillor Chris Metcalfe, Executive Member for Economic Development, said, ‘North Yorkshire offers so many great attractions for people coming to the York area. From the North York Moors National Park, familiar to millions as Heartbeat country on TV, to historic Whitby and Scarborough on our beautiful coastline, to grand architecture such as Castle Howard and Selby Abbey and fabulous food prepared using wonderful local produce by some of the best chefs in England. It makes complete sense for us to work in partnership, getting our message across that all of this is on York’s doorstep.’

Phillip Peacock, Brand Partnerships Manager, Virgin Trains East Coast, said, ‘We’re delighted the latest research shows that over 30% of visits to York are now made by train. There’s no better way to travel to York. This new campaign will help us get the message across loud and clear just how close the city is from the capital, with most journeys taking less than two hours.’

Marketing activity throughout the year will include a new focus on social media for York across Twitter and Facebook, adding Instagram @visityork as a visual marketing tool, a new Blogger campaign to increase online content, as well as increased international marketing targeting the United States, Germany, the Netherlands, Australia and China; funded by the Northern Tourism Growth Fund.

Michelle Brown, Marketing Manager, Make It York, said, ‘It was important for us to work with local designers. This new UK advertising promotion means increased exposure at a time when we need it most. The aim will be to make sure the city and North Yorkshire’s stunning landscapes are put firmly on the ‘must visit’ list this year for new and repeat customers across the UK.

Local York design legends LazenbyBrown will be working on the campaign, an award-winning brand design consultancy founded 10 years ago by Mat Lazenby and Gary Brown. Their clients include the Star Inn at Harome, Riso Gallo, Humberside Police, NHS and Fera.

They recently won a Design Business Association award for their transformational work for Rudgate Brewery.



For further information please contact:

Kay Hyde – Head of PR and Corporate Communications – Make It York
Direct Line: 01904 554451 Mobile: 07506 048852

Katie Parsons – Senior Communications Executive – Make It York
Direct Line: 01904 554436

Executive member: County Councillor Chris Metcalfe (Con) 01937 832501
Officer contact should be; Helen Edwards, press office, 01609 532917

Phillip Peacock, Brand Partnerships Manager
Virgin Trains East Coast
Mobile: 07736 454031 Email:

Notes to Editors:

Make It York (York’s Destination Organisation) has an overarching remit to market the city and its surroundings – nationally and internationally - as a vibrant and attractive place to live, visit, study, work and do business. The remit covers leisure and business tourism, city centre management, festivals and events, business support and inward investment.

Visit York is a part of Make It York and is the leisure tourism brand
Under the brand Visit York, Make It York’s aim is to market York as a must-see world-class destination to the leisure visitor and ensure investment to develop the quality of tourism in York

New key tourism facts:
6.8 million visitors annually, £608 million total visitor spend, supporting 20,300 jobs