Tourists flock to Yorkshire - but money stays in the south

Visitors to York walk along the city walls of York, with York Minster as a backdrop. Picture by Gerard Binks
Visitors to York walk along the city walls of York, with York Minster as a backdrop. Picture by Gerard Binks
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A HUGE rise in spending by people holidaying at home has been predicated - but Yorkshire could be left in the shadows with the money benefitting the south.

Overall spending by ‘staycationers’ - those shunning trips abroad for holidays at home - is set to surge 25 per cent to £108bn by 2017, according to a survey by Barclays.

But almost 30 per cent of this will be spent in London and the South East, with Yorkshire taking just a seven per cent share of the staycation spending purse.

The survey comes as travel website TripAdvisor announced four of the ten top destinations for UK travel are in Yorkshire.

Scarborough, York, Harrogate, and Bridlington are among the best in the country for achieving outstanding traveller reviews.

TripAdvisor’s Certificate of Excellence awards celebrate hospitality excellence and are only given to eateries, accommodation and attractions which consistently achieve outstanding reviews.

Windermere in Cumbria came out top, with Ayr, Blackpool and Fort William also making the top ten.

Welcome to Yorkshire chief executive Gary Verity said that the fact Yorkshire was the only county in the country to take four places in the top ten reflected the high calibre of hospitality businesses it has to offer.

He added: “This confirms that Yorkshire really is the best in Britain.”

TripAdvisor’s president of for business, Marc Charron, said: “Yorkshire’s success in this year’s Certificate of Excellence awards is a great testament to the quality of the hospitality businesses the county has to offer.”

In 2013, staycationers in Yorkshire spent £6bn - and this is expected to rise to £7.6bn in three years time.

Barclays said the hospitality and leisure sectors will benefit most from the trend towards staycationing, with spending in pubs and restaurants by domestic tourists forecast to rise by 26 per cent to £37bn as more people dine out.

Hotels and B&B spending is set to increase by a quarter to £17bn, with leisure attractions going up 27 per cent to £15bn and shopping rising 23 per cent to £15.bn.

Barclays’ head of hospitality and leisure, Mike Saul said: “The economy is improving and confidence is certainly growing, and while this will lead to a gradual rise in the number of consumers looking to holiday abroad again, it is unlikely to precipitate a return to the holidaying habits we were seeing prior to the downturn.”

He went on: “With domestic tourism set to be big business for the UK’s hospitality and retail sectors, those with a clearly targeted strategy are set to benefit.”

Tourist attractions are set to benefit from the bank holiday weekend despite the threat of rain, but with roadworks and rail engineering works planned, experts have warned travellers to plan ahead.

The AA estimates that as many as 17m cars will take to the road, and traffic information company Trafficmaster is forecasting a busier-than-usual evening rush-hour on Friday and more jams on Saturday.

And with cooler, rainier conditions forecast, those travelling by rail will also have to contend with engineering work.

Major engineering work is planned on the West Coast mainline, and in Yorkshire, buses will replace trains between Knottingley and Goole. Timetables on the Sheffield to Mexborough/Moorthorpe route have also been ammended over the weekend..

AA patrolman Mark Spowage said: ”The roads are likely to be extremely busy and it could take a lot longer to get to your destination than you expect.