Plumpton rocks Harrogate
Plumpton Rocks, Harrogate

Views sought on new countywide strategy to attract visitors

2 August 2023

Tourism businesses are being given the chance to highlight their priorities and fine-tune the first strategy of its kind to help to attract thousands more visitors to the county and support the multi-million pound industry.

The visitor economy is a cornerstone of North Yorkshire’s economic vitality and brings in more than £1.5 billion a year from domestic visits alone to the county.

Sessions will be held at the following locations:

  • The Garden Room at Tennants Auctioneers in Leyburn on Friday, 11 August
  • The Old Deanery in Ripon on Tuesday, 15 August
  • Whitby Pavilion on Tuesday, 15 August
  • Harrogate Convention Centre, Wednesday, 16 August
  • North Yorkshire Council’s offices in Skipton on Wednesday, 16 August
  • The Civic Centre in Selby on Wednesday, 16 August
  • Mercury House in Richmond on Thursday, 17 August
  • Scarborough Spa on Friday, 18 August
  • Pickering Memorial Hall on Tuesday, 22 August
  • Online sessions will be available on Monday, 14 August, from 12.30pm until 2.30pm and then between 5.30pm and 7.30pm.

North Yorkshire Council is coordinating a new strategy, which will be aimed at boosting the visitor economy and supporting tens of thousands of workers who are employed in the sector, while also attracting a wider and more diverse range of visitors to the county.

The destination management plan is set to provide the first countywide approach to promoting the visitor economy following the launch of the council in April.

A series of events is due to be held this month (August) to gather information and views from key organisations and enterprises involved in the visitor economy to help to shape a draft document for the destination management plan

As part of the public engagement for the draft destination management plan, invitations are being sent out to tourism businesses for the workshops, which are free and will be staged both in person and online.

Attendees will be asked about their priorities and aspirations for the tourism industry as well as the strengths, opportunities and challenges being faced by North Yorkshire’s visitor economy.

Sessions will run from 11am to 1pm and then 3pm to 5pm at all the venues, apart from the event at the council offices in Skipton which will be staged from 2pm to 4pm and then between 5pm and 7pm. Other venues elsewhere in the county are due to be added.

North Yorkshire Council’s executive member for the visitor economy, Cllr Derek Bastiman, said:

North Yorkshire’s visitor economy has a breadth to it that is one of the biggest appeals – there is so much on offer across such a large area.

We have attempted to provide a wide geographical spread to the engagement events as we want to ensure as many opinions are gathered as possible from those involved in the sector.

A previous engagement exercise was carried out in May to shape the draft destination management plan, and the new round of consultations is seeking final views before the strategy is considered by both North Yorkshire Council’s executive and full council later this year.

A survey of North Yorkshire’s visitor economy was also conducted earlier this year to allow a greater understanding of the views of industry. The questionnaire focused on accommodation, attractions and experiences, food and drink, festivals and events, as well as heritage and culture, landscape and countryside, towns and villages, access and transportation and visitor services.

A bid is due to be submitted to the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport in September for North Yorkshire to be home to a Local Visitor Economy Partnership (LVEP), which will involve both the private and public sectors and will need to follow a new national process to be eligible for support and potential funding from the Government.

A destination management plan is a key requirement for achieving LVEP accreditation and it hoped that the document will help lever additional investment from the Government and other partnership organisations to deliver the strategy.

Tourism in North Yorkshire accounts for 11 per cent of the county’s overall economy, and 41,200 workers are employed in the sector.

More details about the public engagement events are available at online.

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