Tourism plan for historic York to be unveiled

An ambitious package of arts, culture and heritage events planned in York will be revealed today with the city's tourism sector set to bring in £1bn by 2025.

600-year old Great East Window in York Minster.

Steve Brown, managing director of Make It York, which oversees the city’s tourism strategy, will today underline future plans and priorities for York’s cultural offerings at a conference featuring more than 300 leaders in the city at The Principal in York.

York now has a reputation as a “world-class destination”, delegates will be told during the conference, as Mr Brown announces new initiatives and reports on progress since Make It York was set up to spearhead tourism three years ago.

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New projects heading to York include Make It York’s Bloom! – a city-wide celebration of cultural heritage backed by York Business Improvement District.

To showcase York’s status as a UNESCO city of media arts, a new 10-day international media arts festival called York Mediale is being planned for September.

It comes with the city already awaiting the opening of the pop-up Shakespeare’s Rose Theatre next month which will offer visitors temporary access to Shakespearean plays in authentic setting.

Mr Brown said: “There seems to be a frenzy of festivals this year but behind all of this there is also a serious amount of strategy work taking place.

“A key priority for our work going forward is to create a truly ambitious vision and plan for the city’s cultural future.”

Key priorities for the year ahead, delegates will be told, include highlighting York’s hospitality sector through the inaugural York Hospitality Awards, planned to be held at the Everyman Cinema in September.

In November, the city will also see the return of York Business Week, where Make It York plans to run a ‘World Class York’ conference, highlighting the success of its business sector.

The conference will also hear that there could be a possibility that York is involved in the Rugby League World Cup, to be held in 2021, as work is now under way to build the city’s new 8,000-capacity Community Stadium.

Mr Brown, meanwhile, will outlined how Make It York has driven self-funding, generated new income and raised revenue through funding bids.

Make it York also plans to launch a new cultural strategy by December, steered by the Cultural Leaders Group.

Elsewhere, international tourism marketing activity for the city will be focused on audiences in the United States, Europe and China, delegates will be told during the conference today.

Make It York, which aims to develop and promote the city and its surroundings, has won funding bids with VisitEngland to run four different marketing campaigns throughout this year.

They include:

A marketing campaign aimed at young, social media-savvy travellers through augmented-reality applications.

Promoting York’s racecourse in the United Arab Emirates.

A campaign showcasing Manchester Airport as a “gateway to explore” the North of England.

Developing an East of England touring route for the German market.