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News release - Issued by Visit York

New Tourism Campaign Targets Germany

York and Eastern England to benefit from £1m investment.


A partnership of destinations from Hertfordshire to Northumberland, including York has secured a £1m investment from the Discover England Fund to encourage more German visitors to explore the city and Eastern England.

The money will be spent on creating a new 300-mile touring route between London and Northumberland that combines well-known visitor destinations, honey pots such as York, as well as spots that are off-the beaten track. New itineraries will be developed that bring together attractions, accommodation options, places to eat and activities to create a route that is culturally rich and quintessentially English.

Germany has been chosen as the target market because touring is a familiar and well-loved holiday choice for German holidaymakers and because there is good travel connectivity with Eastern England. The project has an emphasis on helping businesses to operate in the international market and make them bookable by independent travellers as well as tour operators and travel agents who are influential with German travellers.

Sally Greenaway, Head of Visit York, said, “York has so much to offer for international visitors and this project will especially help us to attract more people from Germany to visit and enjoy the city. We’re delighted to have won our bid to take part in this new campaign which will make it easier for people to plan and book a trip to York and tour the rest of Eastern England.”

York attracts almost quarter of a million overseas visitors each year, of which more than a third come from Europe. Germany is its top European source market and the third biggest international source market overall (behind the US and China) with 7% of all overseas visitors arriving here from Germany.

Germany has risen one place in the rankings of international source markets for York, up from 4th in 2015. According to estimates from the International Passenger Survey for 2016 run by the Office for National Statistics for VisitBritain, there are now 28,000 German visitors staying in York for one or more nights per year, a figure that is around 20% higher than the previous year (2016 V 2015).

The project is being led by destination management and marketing organisation NewcastleGateshead Initiative (NGI) working with other destination organisations and local authorities up and down the country. Sarah Stewart, Chief Executive of NGI, said: “We are delighted to secure this funding and to be working closely with York and other partners on this exciting project. The touring route will bring economic benefits to the region and is a great opportunity for businesses to attract international visitors.

“We know that Eastern England has so much to offer and we look forward to creating a route that showcases our history and countryside, our market towns and iconic cities, and shines a light on a wonderful part of the country.”

The East of England Touring Route is one of a number of successful projects to receive funding from the UK Government’s £40 million Discover England Fund. The Fund is administered by VisitEngland and aims 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.


Notes to Editors:

The most up to date data on the number of international visits to York is for 2016 and comparisons are 2016 V 2015.

The York annual visitor survey 2016 (which includes day visitors) shows that York’s top five international source markets for tourism are as follows:

  1. US (17% of our overseas visitors, up from 16% the previous year)
  2. China inc. Hong Kong (14%, up from 9% the previous year and York’s fastest growing source market)
  3. Germany (7%, up from 5% the previous year and moving up the rankings by one place this year)
  4. Australia (6%, down from 9% the previous year)
  5. Spain (5%, the same as in the previous year)”

*Total numbers are not yet available and will be released when the York Economic Impact Model is released this summer.

Make It York
Make It York’s purpose is to develop and promote the city and its surroundings – nationally and internationally - as a vibrant and attractive place to live, visit, study, work and do business. The company’s 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.

Key tourism facts:
6.9 million visitors annually, £564 million total visitor spend, supporting 19,000 jobs

The East of England Touring Route partnership - Destination organisations and local authority partners

Visit York
Newark and Sherwood District Council
Northumberland Tourism
Rutland County Council & Discover Rutland
South Kesteven District Council
Tees Valley Combined Authority
Visit County Durham
Visit Derbyshire and Peak District
Visit Herts
Visit Leeds
Visit Lincoln
Visit Nottinghamshire.

About the Discover England Fund

  • In November 2015, the Government announced a £40 million Discover England Fund; an unprecedented opportunity for English tourism. The Fund aims to deliver world-class bookable tourism products joined up across geographies and/or themes; including integrated transport solutions to provide an end-to-end customer experience.
  • The Fund supports the growth of one of England’s most successful export industries, inbound tourism. Tourism is an industry that delivers jobs and economic growth across the English regions – contributing some £106bn each year to the economy and supporting 2.6 million jobs.
  • The Fund supported a number of pilot projects in year one (2016/17) that tested product development approaches. In years two and three, 2017-19, the fund will support:
  • A number of large-scale collaborative projects to be delivered over the two year period 2017-2019 that will create a step-change in bookable English tourism product for international consumers,
  • A smaller funding pot for new one year pilot projects (in year two), and
  • Continuation funding for existing year one projects that demonstrated early learnings (in year two).

About VisitBritain/VisitEngland

  • VisitBritain/VisitEngland is the national tourism agency – a non-departmental public body funded by the Department for Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS)
  • Working with a wide range of partners in both the UK and overseas, our mission is to grow the volume and value of inbound tourism across the nations and regions of Britain and to develop world-class English tourism product to support our growth aspirations. For further information and to access the latest in-depth market intelligence and statistics visit or and for consumer information.

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

Contact: Melanie Sensicle, Project Director for The East of England Touring Route
T: 07920447665.