These visitors are the lifeblood of our region’s tourism industry. Their return represents salvation for its businesses, some of which have faced ruin as a consequence of lockdowns and restrictions on overnight stays.
We can only hope that the summer of 2021 proves to be the moment that anxiety over the future – especially for the small independent businesses that make up so much of the sector – begins to ease and they can once again look forward with optimism.
Uncertainty over foreign travel is key to the numbers who are opting for a staycation, and now that the worst of the pandemic is hopefully behind us, the masses of visitors who have come to Yorkshire represent an opportunity to build a stronger tourist market for the future.
Labour’s shadow tourism spokesman, Alex Sobel, is correct in his assertion that this is a moment to push to make coastal economies stronger all year round.
And Welcome to Yorkshire chief James Mason is equally correct to point out that visitors are more likely to return having experienced all the region has to offer.
This is the challenge for all involved in Yorkshire tourism – to capitalise on this summer of holidays at home. We have peerless appeal as a holiday destination – glorious landscapes, 120 miles of breathtaking coastline, vibrant cities and a thriving cultural scene.
Add to that the traditional warmth of Yorkshire hospitality, a passion for good customer service, along with sensible pricing, and there is every reason to believe that the booming visitor numbers can be sustained in the years ahead as more people are persuaded to spend their holidays at home instead of abroad.