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York heads to world’s biggest travel trade show

When ITB Berlin (Internationale Tourismus-Börse Berlin) opened for business last week, Make It York joined thirty eight other tourism destinations across Northern England, including Hull, Leeds and Durham, to continue a collaborative approach to increase the volume of overseas visitors travelling to the North East, North West and Yorkshire & Humberside.

Using the Northern Tourism Growth Fund (NTGF), a one-off £10M Government investment designed to increase the share of international tourists visiting Northern England, Marketing Manager, Michelle Brown, Make It York, helped spread the word that York and Yorkshire are easy to reach from Germany and the rest of Europe and well worth exploring. Michelle was joined by Paul Whiting and Steph Richter from the JORVIK Group.

At the event, which is the world’s biggest international trade exhibition, Michelle and the team focussed on generating new business leads and trade engagement to grow tourism across York and Yorkshire. They also set up sales meetings to encourage some of the expected 115,000 trade visitors to put York and Northern destinations into their travel brochures for 2017 and beyond. Make It York also showcased all of their campaign partners in the international campaign, including York Minster, York’s Chocolate Story, National Railway Museum, Castle Howard, Designer outlet and the Grand Hotel and Spa.

Michelle Brown, Tourism Marketing Manager, Make It York, said, ‘This was another great example of partnership. Make It York was part of the NTGF area on the wider VisitBritain stand and we showcased our new dedicated German guide, along with our York Destination guide and mini guide.

We were out to impress the travel buyers but we were also aware that so were 10,000 other exhibitors from 180 countries. To stand out we had some of Yorkshire and the North’s iconic landscapes, heritage and modern cities captured in 50 new stunning images and developed 35 new itinerary suggestions. We’ve also just launched Agent North, an online training programme for Travel Agents of bookable, commissionable products available to buy across the North of England, which is also currently being launched in German.’

With evaluation due towards the end of 2016, the Northern Tourism Growth Fund expects to deliver an additional 3,000 jobs and £177m of incremental spend. Visit York is one of the tourism destination partners involved in planning and supporting the activity programme, and represents the Northern Powerhouse in action.


For further information please contact:

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

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

About The Northern Tourism Growth Fund

• A £10m Northern Tourism Growth Fund for tourism investment was announced by Government on the 6th November 2014. The total programme expenditure will be £20m, consisting of the core £10m funding from Central Government and £10m estimated match funding from partners in the public and private sectors. Match funding will be both cash funding and in-kind.
• This fund is being managed by VisitEngland, working closely with international delivery partner VisitBritain and partner organisations from across the North of England, including 38 destinations.
• The aim is to deliver a significant step-change in collaborative working to profile and promote the North of England internationally - through new, targeted and impactful activity which will change perceptions, grow leisure and business visitors, put the assets of the North firmly on the international map and deliver both long term economic impact and the foundations for a lasting legacy for the visitor economy of the North.
• The programme aims to deliver an additional 2m visitor nights to the North of England equating to £177m in international visitor expenditure and create 3,280 jobs.
• The North for this purpose is defined as the old Government Office regions of Yorkshire and Humberside, North West and North East.
• The target markets are: USA, Australia/New Zealand, Netherlands, Germany, China
• The Northern Tourism Growth Fund is part of the Government’s wider Northern Powerhouse activity #NorthernPowerhouse

About VisitEngland

• VisitEngland is the country’s national tourist board. We 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. Our work is underpinned by robust research and customer insights. You can access the latest in-depth market intelligence and statistics on
• England is a unique destination and a real powerhouse in global tourism. It represents 84 per cent of the total UK visitor economy, is worth £106 billion, and supports 2.6 million jobs.
• For further information and to access the latest in-depth market intelligence and statistics visit or for consumer information.

About VisitBritain

• VisitBritain is the strategic body for inbound tourism, ensuring that international tourism continues to deliver economic growth and jobs across the nations and regions of Britain.
• Our strength is that we understand international customers and markets. Our international network of offices which covers 22 markets is a resource supporting the industry and destinations to grow the value of tourism exports. We are a founding partner of the GREAT campaign working alongside organisations such as the FCO, UKTI and The British Council.
• Locking in private sector funding: In the last three years we have raised £43 million from commercial partners - airlines, operators and global brands such as the English Premier League and Sony - to match-fund international tourism marketing.
• Customer Focused: Our strength is our understanding of international markets and customers. We know what motivates overseas customers to travel and how to inspire them to choose Britain.

Notes to Editors:

Make It York (York’s Destination Organisation) has an overarching remit to market the city and its surroundings – nationally and internationally - as a vibrant and attractive place to live, visit, study, work 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

York - Key tourism facts:
6.8 million visitors annually, £608 million total visitor spend, supporting 20,300 jobs