York looks for more overseas visitors

Have your say

A NEW bid to increase the numbers of international visitors to York and bolster the local economy is set to be discussed by senior councillors in the city next month.

Members will consider plans to boost promotion of the city to overseas visitors through a partnership with Leeds Bradford Airport.

Council bosses are proposing a promotional campaign at the airport as part of wider efforts to raise the city’s profile to international markets, increase trade links for York businesses, attract inward investment and increase visitor numbers.

Members of York Council’s cabinet are being asked to approve an initial £85,000 for the project when it meets on September 3.

The cash, from the council’s Economic Infrastructure Fund, would be for the first year of a campaign to promote York as a destination to visit, do business, live and study.

It will then seek contributors from partner organisations across the city for future years, if it is deemed a success.

Coun James Alexander, leader of York Council, said: “As part of the York Economic Strategy 2011-15, the city agreed ambitious economic growth targets of becoming a top five UK city and top 10 European city by 2015.

“To achieve this we need to be operating on an international platform, building on existing links and tapping into new and emerging markets. Making use of this opportunity with Leeds Bradford Airport, as a major regional hub, to reach these markets makes commercial sense.

“This campaign would put York in front of passengers on over 450 flights per week, to a market of 2.7 million passengers a year, from a total of 75 destinations, including cities in over 25 international countries.”

Gillian Cruddas, chief executive of Visit York, said: “This is extremely good news and will boost York’s profile in our key European markets, in particular targeting visitors from important inbound routes such as Rome, Amsterdam, Paris and Dusseldorf.”

It hopes to target inbound leisure and business passengers.