Hoteliers enjoy much needed tourism boost in flood-hit Yorkshire city

A Yorkshire city which was swamped in last December's floods is witnessing a renaissance in tourism after hotel owners saw one of the strongest starts to the autumn season in recent years.

Flood hit York

Figures from York’s hotels sector have shown the third quarter of 2016 has been one of the strongest in recent years, with September proving a record month. The news, in stark contrast to the start of the year when visitor numbers slumped dramatically, comes as a welcome boost to tourism businesses.

“These figures are great news for York and the city’s hospitality sector, particularly as the picture at the beginning of the year was so bleak,” said Graham Usher, chairman of the York Hoteliers Association and manager of the Best Western Monkbar Hotel.

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“Following the Boxing Day flooding, many hotels were struggling. We are delighted with the way in which the tourism industry has bounced back.”

The figures, from Destination Management Organisation, Make It York, show that September’s hotel occupancy figures were up 12 per cent on the previous year.

“We started 2016 in challenging circumstances when hotel occupancy levels dropped to levels not seen for many years,” said Kate McMullen of Make It York. “York, however, is resilient. We are back on track.”

Across the county, businesses and residents were hit hard by last winter’s deluge.

In York, independent retailers launched a campaign to attract more trade, targeting both residents and the 6.8m tourists who visit the city every year and encouraging them to ‘shop local’.

And in Tadcaster, work is on schedule to meet the revised completion date for the reconstruction of its bridge despite worsening winter weather.

The 18th century Grade ll listed bridge, reconstructed at a cost of £4.4m, was closed after its partial collapse but North Yorkshire County Council has now said it anticipates the project will be completed by the end of January.