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PHOTOCALL/INTERVIEW OPPORTUNITIES: Cllr Sonja Crisp, Cabinet Member for Leisure, Culture and Tourism with Jane Lady Gibson, Chairman of Visit York, at the National Railway Museum in front of the Chinese Locomotive – KF7.

When: Wednesday 22nd January at 12.15
Meet at the National Railway Museum City Entrance.

Plan to Create Billion Pound Tourism Industry

Plans will be announced today (Thursday 23rd January), to create a billion pound tourism industry for York over the next ten years. After a year of planning and consultation, Visit York, with the City of York Council, will reveal this ambitious plan to key players in the tourism industry at a business event at the National Railway Museum.

Cllr Sonja Crisp, Cabinet Member for Leisure, Culture and Tourism said, ‘We have ambitious plans for tourism in York. Our strategy will be based on increasing visitor spend, attracting both leisure and business visitors from the UK and overseas and delivering a prosperous tourism sector for York over the next ten years.’

This billion pound figure will be generated through specifically targeting more overseas visitors from North America and Europe as well as emerging markets such as China. Tackling seasonality will be high on the agenda, encouraging visitors in the off peak season, as well as targeting the lucrative conference business sector and extending the length of stay of both leisure and business visitors.

Jane Lady Gibson, Chairman of Visit York, said, ‘York’s brand name and brand values have high level recognition within the UK and internationally. By encouraging all businesses to put York at the heart of what they do, together we will have a stronger presence in a global tourism market. Partnership working will be the key to our success, building stronger working partnerships across the city to help deliver our collective ambitions. It’s full steam ahead now with our planning for the next decade.’

An important part of York’s tourism strategy will be to increase business visitors, ensuring York’s business tourism offer is world class. The average spend per trip of a domestic business visitor on an overnight trip in the UK is 1.5 times higher per night than for a domestic leisure visitor, which means an increase in business visitors will have a positive impact on annual visitor spend.

Promoting and improving York’s vibrant cultural offer will be a key ingredient when it comes to encouraging visitors to stay longer, resulting in a higher average spend per trip. And tapping into emerging overseas markets such as China will also help deliver on York’s tourism ambition; on average, an overseas visitor will spend 1.3 times more per night in the UK than a domestic staying visitor and they will stay 2.4 times longer than a UK visitor.

Cllr Sonja Crisp added, ‘Maximising the potential of overseas markets will increase tourism’s contribution to the city’s overall economic prosperity and through new ways of working, tourism can work even more as a driver to attract inward investment and overseas students to the city.’

To establish a more coordinated approach to marketing York, Visit York and the City of York Council are exploring the development of a new agency. It is planned that this new way of working will involve a sharper more innovative approach to delivering services to support stronger, sustainable businesses. This way of working, under a new agency, will bring together the work of Visit York, the City Council’s arts and culture teams as well as city centre management and some inward investment activity. There will be close collaboration with Science City York, the Universities and York@Large, the city’s Cultural Partnership.

There were 2.1mn visitors to York in 1987, spending £55 million. Today *seven million visitors spend an estimated £443 million annually. New economic impact figures on the value of tourism to York will be published next month.



*The last economic impact research into tourism was conducted in 2008 – a new piece of research is just about to reach its conclusion and up to date figures will be announced shortly.

Visitor numbers: 7 million
Annual spend: £443 million

For further information or to set up an interview please contact:

Kay Hyde – Head of PR and Corporate Communications – Visit York
Direct Line: 01904 554451
Mobile: 07506 048852

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 million visitors, £443 million total visitor spend