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Building International Tourism in York and Yorkshire
Overseas buyers targeted in new international marketing drive

York is set to be showcased to an international audience of travel agents and tour operators, when tourism agency Visit York represents the city at a brand new tourism showcase next week.
ExploreGB is a new, flagship event, organized by the national tourism body VisitBritain to provide Great British & Irish tourism destinations with an invaluable opportunity to meet and do business with up to 260 international travel buyers from forty countries.

On Wednesday 25 & Thursday 26 February Visit York Senior Marketing Executive Elaine Moss, will take part in a series of one to one appointments, held at Ascot Racecourse, with sixty carefully selected international tour operators, all of whom have expressed an interest in adding York to their travel programmes. Buyers such as Stephanie Cheng, Managing Director of China Holidays, Darlene St Louis, UK Product Manager for Senior Tours Canada
and Stefan Heinzl, Head of HTS Touristik in Germany will hear all about York’s tourism offer.

Taking part in ExploreGB is a key element in Visit York’s new hard hitting international campaign, which aims to drive up international awareness of York as both a leisure and conference destination. Key venues signed up to take part in this new international campaign are: York Minster, York’s CHOCOLATE Story, the National Railway Museum, JORVIK Viking Centre, York Designer Outlet, Castle Howard and the Grand Hotel and Spa.

Visit York’s new international marketing drive will target four key markets: North America, China, Germany and the Netherlands. So far Visit York has attended three travel trade sales missions in Las Vegas last September, in Guangzhou, China last November and in Utrecht this January to boost York’s profile with hundreds of international tour operators.

Following on from the ExploreGB showcase, international delegates will be invited to attend familiarisation trips around the country. Three themed visits will head north and Visit York will welcome sixty four tour operators; twenty six from China, seventeen from Denmark and Poland and twenty one from France and Belgium.
Product Managers will be keen to find new bespoke ideas for their itineraries; the Chinese delegation will visit York’s CHOCOLATE Story, the Shambles, York Minster, Mulberry Hall, York Mansion House, the Grand hotel, stopping for lunch at Red Chilli and dinner at Bettys Café Tea Rooms. And meanwhile Danish, Polish, French and Belgian operators will visit a mix of Jorvik, York’s CHCOCOLATE Story and York Minster, stopping for lunch at the Grand.

Kate McMullen, Head of Visit York, said ‘We’re seeing increasing interest from emerging markets in our world-class attractions, festivals programme and gastro scene. By meeting with these key buyers face to face, we’re confident we can make sure York is high on the ‘must visit’ list of international visitors. Visit Britain’s invaluable support means we can show off our city at its very best to this important group of international buyers.’

Louise Gee, Sales Manager at the Cedar Court Grand Hotel, said, ‘Increasing awareness of York will help to encourage travel operators who already offer London in their tour programmes, to add York as a new destination. This is also an excellent opportunity for us to target the luxury travel market and all of this activity is excellent news for our hotel and for York’s tourism sector.’

As part of its international marketing drive Visit York also recently created the city’s first travel guide in Mandarin, as well as a new destination video for York in Chinese, which has already generated over 275,000 views.


Notes to editor:

Weds 25 and Thurs 26 February - ExploreGB – will be held at Ascot Racecourse – the event is organized by Visit Britain, attended by several UK destinations and Visit York.

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

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

About Visit York

• Visit York is supported by 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 million visitors, £606 million total visitor spend, 20,000 jobs