Plight of Yorkshire business tourism shows visitor economy is much more than beaches: The Yorkshire Post says

When the concept of Yorkshire tourism is discussed, thoughts naturally turn to the region’s stunning coastline, the beauty of its National Parks and the historical splendour of York.

Business conferences normally generate hundreds of millions of pounds each year for Yorkshire's economy.

But another vitally-important – but often-overlooked – part of the county’s visitor economy is business tourism, driven in large part by national and international organisations holding conferences in places like Leeds and Harrogate.

This industry – worth £560m to Leeds alone last year – has been dealt a hammer blow by the coronavirus pandemic which has not only resulted in months of cancellations but also raised major question marks about the long-term future of office working itself.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

While the Government has said that business conferences complying with social distancing measures should be able to resume from October 1, there is reluctance from many companies to book anything in for the remainder of this year.

Given factors such as ongoing restrictions on international travel, recent last-minute postponements to other lockdown easing measures such as the opening of bowling alleys and casinos and the fact that many staff are still working from home, such reticence to make arrangements for the autumn and winter is entirely understandable.

It is becoming clearer that despite the Government’s hopes for a swift V-shaped economy recovery after lockdown, some industries will take longer than others to get back off the ground.

Additionally, different parts of the same sectors will bounce back much more quickly than others – as is being seen with tourism in Yorkshire.

It all means that carefully-targeted and continuing Government support is vital, as is long-term planning for returning industries like business tourism – worth £32bn to the UK last year – back to their previous strength.

Editor’s note: first and foremost - and rarely have I written down these words with more sincerity - I hope this finds you well.

Almost certainly you are here because you value the quality and the integrity of the journalism produced by The Yorkshire Post’s journalists - almost all of which live alongside you in Yorkshire, spending the wages they earn with Yorkshire businesses - who last year took this title to the industry watchdog’s Most Trusted Newspaper in Britain accolade.

And that is why I must make an urgent request of you: as advertising revenue declines, your support becomes evermore crucial to the maintenance of the journalistic standards expected of The Yorkshire Post. If you can, safely, please buy a paper or take up a subscription. We want to continue to make you proud of Yorkshire’s National Newspaper but we are going to need your help.

Postal subscription copies can be ordered by calling 0330 4030066 or by emailing [email protected] Vouchers, to be exchanged at retail sales outlets - our newsagents need you, too - can be subscribed to by contacting subscriptions on 0330 1235950 or by visiting www.localsubsplus.co.uk where you should select The Yorkshire Post from the list of titles available.

If you want to help right now, download our tablet app from the App / Play Stores. Every contribution you make helps to provide this county with the best regional journalism in the country.

Sincerely. Thank you.

James Mitchinson

Editor