How tourism on the Yorkshire coast plans to become a year-round visitor attraction

An initiative to make Yorkshire’s coastline a year-round tourism and leisure destination has been launched in a bid to take advantage of an anticipated surge in demand for staycations.

Discover Yorkshire Coast, the tourism body for Scarborough Borough Council, is launching its ‘The Place Full of Surprises’ campaign in order to ensure visitors are inspired to explore something new at different times of the year.

Those behind the scheme want to reposition the area from being seen just as a traditional seaside holiday destination by instead highlighting a range of year-round offers from across the resorts that make up Discover Yorkshire Coast, including Scarborough, Whitby, Filey, Robin Hood’s Bay, Ravenscar and parts of the North York Moors National Park.

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The overall objective of the campaign is to generate more overnight stays throughout the destination, and to spread the visits throughout the year.

Scarborough south bay

The campaign is based around four key elements of escape, explore, indulge and dream which will seek to draw attention to spa retreats, walking routes, accommodations, food and drink and the region’s history and heritage,

Janet Deacon, Scarborough Borough Council tourism and culture manager and lead for Discover Yorkshire Coast, said: “With people’s attention firmly fixed on the UK for their holiday destination for the short to medium term we have an opportunity to stand out and change perceptions at the same time.

“There is so much to do across the length and breadth of the Yorkshire coast throughout the year, where one day you take on an outdoor adventure, the next you find tranquillity and relaxation – and that is the ‘surprise’ that we are looking to share with audiences with our new campaign.”

The campaign, which aims to launch in the spring, will be targeted at two new audiences to educate and inspire them to visit the destination. These audience profiles include urban millennials, who are in their mid-20s to early 30s, and looking for an adventure closer to home.

Filey seafront, pic by Tony Freeman.

Another key audience will be the multi-generational family and the opportunities to all stay together in one place but have activities on offer that will keep the whole group entertained.

Councillor Liz Colling, Scarborough Borough Council cabinet member for inclusive growth, said: “We are proud that the Yorkshire coast is a perennial destination of choice for many families every summer, but in these uncertain times we must work harder to diversify our offer and tempt new audiences to our beautiful borough.

“There are so many varied experiences on offer throughout the year, from must-see cultural events, such as Filey Food and Drink Festival, Whitby Regatta and shows at Scarborough Open Air Theatre in the summer, to relaxing autumnal getaways for couples or a multi-generational family half-term exploring the beaches.

“By targeting new audiences to visit at different times of the year, and for longer, we can ensure the continued prosperity of our tourism industry into the future.”

A spokesperson said there are opportunities available for tourism and hospitality businesses to get involved in the campaign already, with a campaign strategy published on the Discover Yorkshire Coast industry site.

Richard Marcroft, chairman of the Yorkshire Coast Tourism Advisory Board, which is supporting the campaign, said: “It is hoped that this campaign will bring all tourism sectors together to really showcase what the Yorkshire coast has to offer all year round.

“The diversity of what’s on offer across the Yorkshire coast and within the adjoining North York Moors National Park is second to none. It is imperative that we all come together to highlight this to the world to ensure we remain one of the most visited UK tourism destinations.”