New Tourism Strategy Published to Support Recovery in the City

Following the announcement that City of York Council and Make It York will be collaborating on a plan of activity to support the tourism and hospitality industry, a new strategy has today (11th September 2020) been published outlining more details of the ongoing campaign.

The strategy document includes the key themes, channels and messaging for the activity – which focuses on building confidence in the city as a safe and welcoming place for residents and visitors to enjoy, as well as promoting York’s unique character and the diverse range of experiences on offer. The strategy document is available to download here.

The strategy outlines the activity plan for the rest of the year and information about the proposed events coming up. This month, there will be a focus on a ‘Taste of York’ theme showcasing the diverse food and drink offer in the city through championing and celebrating local restaurants and supporting a ‘York Food Festival’ Weekend. The festival will run from 25th to 27th September and will include cooking workshops, demonstrations, a café bar (in conjunction with Macmillan Coffee Morning) and a City Taste Trail. The ‘Taste of York’ theme will continue to run throughout the month and into October with York BID’s Restaurant Week being held 12th-18th of October tying in with this.

Proposals for later in the year include Autumn and festive events to encourage residents and visitors to explore different parts of the city. The campaign will also promote city-wide events and experiences throughout the rest of the year – including York Mediale, the Aesthetica Short Film Festival and Indie York’s Treasure Hunts which help to encourage footfall around the city centre.

City of York Council are supporting the campaign with an investment of £100K for targeted marketing activity which will include advertising across print, broadcast and online channels, including social media. New digital content to promote the city, including photography and video are also a key part of the plan – alongside curating the unique programme of events throughout the rest of 2020.

In-depth evaluation of the strategy will be carried out, alongside bi-monthly consumer sentiment research to ensure that there is a robust understanding of the impact of the marketing campaign. This data will also feed into the development of the ongoing activity to ensure it is as effective as possible at supporting the economy during this crucial period. Make It York will host a virtual tourism conference later in the year for businesses in the tourism, leisure, hospitality and retail sectors to update on the strategy’s progress and key milestones, as well as next steps and plans for 2021. More information on dates, timings and how to register will be released shortly.

Elements of the activity outlined in the strategy are already in operation, kicking off in August on Yorkshire Day with a special key worker celebration – a week to thank the incredible commitment of the city’s key workers with offers and discounts from businesses across the city. A new campaign video for Only in York was also launched in August as part of the activity – bringing to life what makes York a unique place to visit and capturing the eclectic and dynamic nature of the city. To date the video has had over 154,000 views across social media platforms, with a reach of over 288,000– with many residents and York-based businesses proudly sharing with their own audiences.

Sean Bullick, Managing Director of Make It York said, “York has a world-class tourism and leisure industry and ensuring its continued success is absolutely vital. Through investment in targeted marketing and advertising activity we are working with City of York Council to promote York’s unique offering in new and creative ways. As outlined in the strategy, this includes supporting events such as the York Food Festival Weekend later this month and creating a series of new experiences, trails and events to draw residents and visitors back into the city to explore. Over the next few months we will also be rolling out targeted print,

digital and broadcast advertising to inspire key audiences to experience York as a staycation destination.

“Working alongside York’s attractions, retailers, hoteliers and the city’s hospitality businesses is key to the strategy’s success which is why are keen to invite businesses to our virtual tourism conference later in the year to discuss our plans for 2021 and the exciting opportunities to work together.”

Cllr Darryl Smalley, Executive Member for Culture, Leisure & Communities said: “We have already seen a strong summer with visitors returning to the city. It’s been a really positive start and with York’s tourism sector supporting over 24,000 local jobs it is vital we do what we can to keep this sector buoyant and successful through autumn and winter. Recognising footfall is likely to decrease as the summer holiday period ends, we recognise how important it is to draw residents and visitors into the city to rediscover hidden gems, support our local businesses and enjoy what the city has to offer once more.

“I’d like to thank the whole sector for their support in delivering this plan. It’s only through the hard work of the tourism, cultural and retail businesses and organisations who adapted so quickly to keep people safe, that we are able to confidently shout about how York is safely open for business.”

Read the full strategy document here.

ENDS

For further information please contact:

Amy Goodman, Consumer Communications Manager Email: comms@makeityork.com

Notes to editors:

About Make It York

Make It York’s purpose is to develop and promote the city and its surroundings – nationally and internationally – as a vibrant and attractive place to live, visit, study, work and do business. Its mission is to grow the economic prosperity and wider wellbeing of York and its citizens. In practice, this means delivering a range of projects and programmes based around our four corporate strategic priorities. These are:

· City positioning and profile-raising

· Inward Investment and network building

· Ensuring an exciting city centre

· Delivering the city’s