Harrogate has a new tourism body

20 April 2012

HarrogateProposals to improve the visitor experience and tourism economy in the Harrogate district have taken a major step forward.

Welcome to Harrogate Limited has now been fully incorporated and leading local businessman, Peter McCormick OBE is to become its first Chair (Designate). The company will be limited by guarantee and will apply any profits to further promote the district.

Peter McCormick said:

The Harrogate district has so much to offer with a great many people doing their utmost to ensure its success. But what has been lacking is one local overarching body to bring all the elements together.

When the idea for this new body for the district was first mooted by Harrogate Borough Council’s Chief Executive, Wallace Sampson, he made a very simple distinction. If Welcome to Yorkshire’s brilliant marketing campaigns are successfully bringing people into the district, then what is needed locally is a destination management organisation made up of local business people and organisations to make sure that our visitors have the very best experience and want to return again and again. We will be working closely with Welcome to Yorkshire which has seen great success over the past few years in boosting tourism but they now need our support in return.

As well as appointing a Chairman, Welcome to Harrogate Limited is seeking a number of non-executive directors to join the Board of the new company to fulfil its aim of raising the profile of the Harrogate district, attracting visitors, generating spend and delivering economic benefits.

The Board will be led by the private sector and it is looking to recruit directors who can bring knowledge and experience of the visitor economy as well as business expertise.

Under the terms of the incorporation, Harrogate Borough Council will have two seats on the Board.

Councillors Don Mackenzie and Philip Broadbank, Leaders of the council’s two main political groups, said:

This new company will be a robust public-private partnership which will seek the support of more than 1000 businesses and organisations across the district, large or small, who share the vision to promote the district as a world-class place in which to live, learn, work, visit and invest. Whilst it is right that Welcome to Harrogate Limited should be led by the private sector, the council can bring a lot to it. This year it has contributed £50,000 to help with set up costs but in future years its success will very much depend on contributions from the private sector. We hope local businesses will get behind this new company with financial support to make sure it can drive tourism forward across the whole district over the next few years.

The importance of tourism to our local economy cannot be underestimated. It brings in over £678m in visitor spend and supports 23,000 jobs in the district. Jobs created through the visitor economy are an extremely important part of recovering from the recession.

The company will be appointing non-executive directors to sit on the Board and is seeking nominations from a broad range of sectors and from a range of business sizes.

Visit www.harrogate.gov.uk for full details, including a Director Information Pack and full biographical details of Peter McCormick Chair (Designate) Welcome to Harrogate Limited. The closing date for nominations is 11 May 2012.

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