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A City of Firsts
New Tourism Campaign – First Time in York – Launched For 2014

One million cinema goers, 6.5 million TV viewers and 1.5 million rail passengers will all be targeted with Visit York’s brand new marketing and PR campaign throughout 2014. Romantic couples and adventurous fifty plus year olds will be among those audience groups encouraged to book their UK break in York.

Unveiled this week, Visit York’s New Year drive will boost visitor numbers and increase the economic impact of tourism to York. This brand new campaign for 2014 will promote York to first time visitors from London, the South East and Scotland.

The ‘First Time in York’ campaign will be Visit York’s second national campaign funded by the Government’s Regional Growth Fund (RGF) ‘Growing Tourism Locally’ programme, led by national tourist board VisitEngland and sponsored by East Coast Trains.

Running nationally, the campaign will be seen on television in Scotland, in national press, in cinemas in London and central and Northern Scotland; 1,000 screenings during 21 films, through digital and outdoor advertising and at key train stations along the East Coast route from Scotland through to London. Headline fares with East Coast will start from as little as £13 for a single ticket from London to York and Visit York will be offering special offers at accommodation, shops and restaurants online at

Visit York will partner with the Telegraph and Independent newspapers, rolling out year round feature stories, advertorials, competitions, blogs and brand new online video content.
Giant posters will be located at London rail stations and on the London Underground.

Top travel websites, offering romantic breaks with your other half and, an online global community for adventurous fifty plus year olds, will also feature the campaign.

Fifty First Time York Experiences

Under the strap line ‘When was the last time you had a first time? - a long weekend in York stays with you forever’, the campaign will showcase fifty first time experiences this world famous city has to offer. Using the five sense headings of: Touch, Smell, See, Hear and Taste, new visitors to York will be offered fifty ideas for their first visit to the city; these can be viewed online at And loyal ‘in the know’ York fans who’ve been to York before, will be engaged through social media to offer their advice and pass on tips to first timers to York.

Kate McMullen, Head of Visit York said: ‘York has a loyal following. We know that when someone has visited once, they will come back again and again - 80% of our visitors make at least one return trip. Now we want to target people who’ve never been to York before and tell them what they’re missing. York is packed full of must-see attractions, with year round festivals and a growing gastro scene, 2014 is going to be a wake-up call for anyone who hasn’t yet experienced our beautiful city.’

A flavour of the fifty reasons to put York on your long short break list this year include; kiss your partner under the Heart of Yorkshire window at York Mister – legend has it you’ll stay together forever; meet a Viking at the Jorvik Viking Centre; shop on one of the oldest and most picturesque streets in England: the Shambles; and discover York’s chocolate heritage at York’s CHOCOLATE Story.

Cllr Sonja Crisp, Cabinet Member for Leisure, Culture and Tourism, said: ‘York is packed full of world-class attractions and a festival calendar like no other city. A visit to York truly will stay with you forever and this new campaign will encourage anyone who’s not yet been here, to put York on their ‘must visit’ list this year. You might find yourself resolving for the first time to come back a second time: there’s so much to experience.’

To find out more about about Visit York, go to: .


For further information please contact:

Kay Hyde – Head of Communications – Visit York
Direct Line: 01904 554451
Mobile: 07961 828092

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

Notes To The Editor

• Visit York is supported by the City of York Council and over 700 tourism businesses and works in partnership with VisitEngland.
• Visit York’s aim is to market York as a must-see world-class destination to the leisure and business visitor, and ensure investment to develop the quality of tourism in York. Visit York is responsible for leisure and conference marketing, visitor services (running the city’s Visitor Information Centre), training and ensuring a quality visitor experience.
• Visit York is the driving force of the city’s tourism industry. Key facts:

7.1 million visitors
£443 million total visitor spend

York’s Fifty First Time Experiences

Using the five sense headings of: Touch, Smell, See, Hear and Taste, new visitors to York are offered Fifty ideas for their first visit to the city

• Yorkshire was named as one of the top places in the world to visit in 2014 by Lonely Planet, one of the world’s leading travel publications
• Lonely Planet put the area third in the top 10 world regions, behind destinations in India and Australia.

About VisitEngland

• VisitEngland is the country’s national tourist board. They work in partnership with the industry to develop the visitor experience across England, plan national tourism strategy, grow the value of tourism in England and provide advocacy for the industry and our visitors
• Their work is underpinned by robust research and customer insights. You can access the latest in-depth market intelligence and statistics on
• For corporate information see and for consumer information see

About Growing Tourism Locally – a Regional Growth Fund Tourism Investment Project

• In October 2011 VisitEngland’s application to the Government’s Regional Growth Fund was approved by the Department for Business Innovation and Skills (BIS). £19.8 million was awarded to deliver a three year partner marketing project entitled ‘Growing Tourism Locally’.
• This project aims to stimulate the domestic visitor market for England and to grow local economies through increased tourism activity by UK residents. The project enables VisitEngland to work in partnership to facilitate growth at a local level, further amplifying the second Holidays at Home are GREAT campaign that was launched in March last year.
• The project ‘Growing Tourism Locally’ has the potential to create the equivalent of 9,100 full time jobs across England and is focussed on areas suffering economic challenges and with tourism growth potential.
• The RGF funding is matched with private sector funding at national and local levels to create a national project of £41million over 3 years.