A major international marketing drive aiming to build on the global brand of Yorkshire has been unveiled at the UK’s biggest tourism event.
Welcome to Yorkshire has gathered a £1million marketing war chest from Government, Visit Britain and commercial partners to target and grow visitor numbers from the US, France, Australia, Germany, Netherlands as well as the UK.
Foreign journalists will be invited to sample the region’s delights while social media, online and print advertising will be placed across Europe to spread the word about the county.
The campaign was revealed at the tourism firm’s Y16 event at York Barbican yesterday, which celebrated high profile successes of the likes of the Tour de Yorkshire legacy race and the Yorkshire Rows – the oldest female crew to row the Atlantic.
Y16 also saw a wealth of details emerge about new TV projects, milestones and upcoming events as Leeds DJs Utah Saints were unveiled as one of 10 acts to put forward tracks for a Yorkshire Festival world record attempt.
Among the talking points was news that World Champion cyclist Lizzie Armitstead will compete for the largest prize fund in women’s cycling at the Asda Women’s Tour de Yorkshire on Saturday April 30.
Sir Gary Verity, chief executive at Welcome to Yorkshire, said: “We’ve met a host of famous faces today who really show the wealth of talent, grit and determination we have here in the county.
“As true ambassadors for the county, they really help spread the word about Yorkshire to the nation and beyond. Expect another busy, exciting year for Yorkshire.”
Around 1,000 people attended Y16 and witnessed on-stage interviews and presentations revealing further details about events including the Tour de Yorkshire, which is organised by Welcome to Yorkshire and Tour de France owners ASO.
Armitstead, cycling for team Great Britain, will be among the riders taking on the 135km stage from her hometown of Otley to Doncaster next month competing for a £50,000 prize fund.
The first prize of £15,000 – three times the sum Armitstead collected when she won the world championships in Richmond, Virginia, last year – is higher than that of three men’s stage wins plus the overall general classification win combined.
Armitstead said: “It’s good to see that this year they’re doing it properly, putting equal prize money out there and inviting all the best teams.”
Sir Gary described the prize fund announcement as “hugely significant milestone for women’s racing”.
He said: “It is the most lucrative women’s bike race on the planet.”
Y16 visitors were also shown a preview of the new series of Channel 5’s Yorkshire Vets and told of news that Yorkshire-born wine expert Joe Fattorini will be hosting ITV’s The Wine Show and Emmerdale’s Kelvin Fletcher is spending this year training as a road racing star backed by Welcome to Yorkshire.
More details also emerged about Yorkshire Festival 2016, which will launch its full programme of events on April 14.
The festival’s Big Disco will see 10 DJs put forward their favourites tracks, which will be up for public vote at thebigdisco.com, before the winner is played at the same time at various venues across Yorkshire on July 1.
It is hoped that the record attempt will get more than 25,000 people dancing at venues including Big Disco’s epicentre in Leeds, where the world’s largest disco ball will be suspended from a crane above Duke Studios.
The disco ball, on loan from Bestival, was made by Yorkshire company NEWSUBSTANCE.