Yorkshire invests in business tourism

Yorkshire hopes to grow its business tourism by investing in marketing and promotion, quality, training, and product development.

Yorkshire invests in business tourism
Yorkshire invests in business tourism

Regional development agency Yorkshire Forward is to invest £10m each year over the next three years to boost Yorkshire's tourism. The industry is currently worth £500m to the local economy.

Gary Verity, chief executive of Yorkshire tourist board Welcome to Yorkshire, said: "The £30m is divided roughly 60:40 between central spending and money for the six regional tourism partnerships."
 
Rebranded

The Yorkshire Tourist Board rebranded as Welcome to Yorkshire earlier this year and announced plans to grow the region's total visitor revenue by £300m within three years.

Welcome to Yorkshire's business tourism strategy targets national agents, corporates, and associations with a newly coordinated approach between regional conference bureaux and business partners.

Plans include joint exhibition attendance and integrated marketing campaigns.

International appeal

Welcome to Yorkshire is also courting international event planners with a focus on Singapore, New York and northern China.

"The £30,000 spent on profile building in these regions is not a big investment in monetary terms but, long-term investmentwise, it's huge," said Verity.

Revamped website

Welcome to Yorkshire launched its new television advertising in spring with a TV campaign, scheduled to run this autumn, that aims to drive traffic to the revamped website Yorkshire.com.

The website was voted Best Tourist Board Website at the TravelMole 2009 Web Awards and traffic has increased by 350% since the revamp.

"We need to keep our profile high. We've made a statement with our television advertising and new website. We have to keep the message relevant  and put Yorkshire at the top of event planners' decision lists," said Verity.

"Our next focus will be to use social networking sites, such as Twitter and Facebook, to communicate directly with potential buyers."

Yorkshire overview: The northern counties are reaping the benefit of investments in their business tourism infrastructure

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