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News release - Issued by Visit York

York - Best UK Destination for Groups

York has scooped the title of ‘Best UK Destination’ at the Group Leisure & Travel Awards 2017, a prestigious tourism industry awards ceremony, held at the Hilton Birmingham Metropole Hotel, Birmingham, on Wednesday night (11 October).

Co-presented by magician Ben Hanlin, best known for his ITV2 show Tricked, alongside Group Leisure & Travel Magazine publisher Rob Yandell, the awards recognised the best destinations, attractions, and providers in the group travel industry, as voted for by active travel organisers from sports and social clubs, retired associations, special interest societies and other groups.

York fought off fierce competition from London, Manchester, Eastbourne and Birmingham. The awards ceremony is the highlight of the year for some of the top names in group travel.

Michelle Brown, Marketing Manager at Visit York, said: “We’re absolutely delighted with our award. York is lucky enough packed full of amazing attractions for groups from York Minster and the National Railway Museum, to JORVIK, York’s Chocolate Story and the York Castle Museum, as well as a fantastic array of group friendly accommodation, we aim to keep York the number one choice for this lucrative group visit market.”

Groups visiting York include everything from sports clubs and societies, to reunion groups, touring choirs and musicians to social get-togethers.

The Group Leisure and Travel Awards took place the night prior to the Group Leisure & Travel Show happening today at the NEC Birmingham. In its 21st year, the Group Leisure & Travel Show is the leading exhibition of its kind, when group organisers and coach operators spend one day meeting a vast range of exhibitors, including top attractions, tourist boards, accommodation providers, ticketing agencies, coach companies and tour operators – all ready to look after groups.

Visit York is exhibiting with key partners JORVIK Viking Centre, City Cruises York, The Bar Convent Living Heritage Centre and Yorkshire Air Museum.

Paul Whiting, Marketing Manager for The JORVIK Group of Attractions, said: “The groups market is an important one for JORVIK and as we celebrate six months since our reopening in April, we want to share this exciting period of York’s history with as wide an audience as possible. Having the opportunity to partner with Visit York to showcase what we have to offer will allow us to engage with this important market and bring more groups to the city.

We will be taking one of our resident Vikings along with us and they are sure to bring visitors to the stand!”

For more information on visiting York with a group visit


For further information please contact:

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

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

Notes to the Editor

About Make It York and Visit York

Make It York (York’s Destination Organisation) was launched on 19 May 2015. Make It York has an overarching remit to market the city and its surroundings – nationally and internationally - as an exciting place to live, study, visit 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

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

*Data is sourced from the annual Economic Impact Survey using the Cambridge Model – (one of the standard tourism models, the other being STEAM), using Visit York’s locally collected data from the Annual Visitor Survey as inputs.