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York - Best UK Destination for Groups

York has scooped the title of ‘Best UK Destination for Groups’ at the Group Travel Awards 2015, a prestigious tourism industry awards ceremony, held at the Hilton Park Lane on Friday night (Friday 5 June) and hosted by comedian Hal Cruttenden.

Voted for by readers of Group Travel Organiser (GTO) magazine, the city of York fought off fierce competition from seven top UK tourist destinations including Bournemouth, Bristol, Essex, Kent, Liverpool, London and Stoke on Trent. The awards ceremony is the highlight of the year for some of the top names in group travel.

Michelle Brown, Marketing Manager at Make It York, said ‘We’re absolutely delighted to regain this title, having last scooped the top spot in this category in 2012. York is packed full of amazing attractions for groups, from York Minster and the National Railway Museum to JORVIK, York’s Chocolate Story, York Castle Museum and Castle Howard, as well as a fantastic variety of group accommodation. Our aim is to keep York the number one choice for this valuable group market.’

Now in its 18th year, the Group Travel Awards has earned an enviable reputation as the most prestigious event serving the group travel market. These awards reflect a highly respected endorsement from customers in this important market sector. Each year the readers of GTO Magazine are asked to vote for which destination they think offers the best overall experience for their customers.

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

Rachel Underwood, Marketing Manager at Castle Howard, said ‘It’s fantastic that York has been recognised as a top destination for group visits, with so many attractions in the city centre and easy access to a host of other experiences beyond the city walls it’s no surprise that the region is so popular. Castle Howard offers a great deal for groups with a variety of interests from gardens and photography, to architecture and history as well as offering private tours and lunches. It looks set to be another great year for groups with forward bookings up 25% driven by strong domestic and international travel trade.”

The city’s very first Destination Management Organisation (DMO) – Make It York – brings together Visit York, Science City York and the City of York Council’s inward investment, events and festivals teams into one new strategic and dynamic company. Make It York will work to enable the city and its surroundings to develop as a world-class vibrant and attractive destination to live, visit, study and do business.

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:
6.7 million visitors annually, £573 million total visitor spend, supporting 19,000 jobs