Yorkshire tourism: keep calm and carry on after Brexit

Yorkshire’s tourism boss is predicting a potential boom in staycations and is sending a message to international visitors that they are welcome, following the referendum result.

Sir Gary Verity, Welcome to Yorkshire chief executive, said: “We need to stand united, to ‘keep calm and carry on’ with our work of making Yorkshire a friendly, attractive and inspiring place to visit for domestic and international visitors alike.”

The Tour de Yorkshire will not be affected by the vote to leave the European Union, as Welcome to Yorkshire does not receive European funding.

The 2016 race saw about two million spectators, who generated nearly £60 million for the local economy, 20% up year-on-year.

Sir Gary continued: “We need to keep Yorkshire a must-see visitor destination, keep attracting visitors – let’s not forget Scarborough was recently named the most popular destination for holidaymakers anywhere outside London from 2013-2015. 

“No one knows for certain what a post-EU UK would look like but it is likely to be a lot more expensive for domestic travellers to fly abroad.

“Perhaps this means there will be a boom in staycations with more and more people looking to stay within the UK and looking at Yorkshire as somewhere to spend their break.”

Domestic overnight trips to Yorkshire grew by 20% in 2015, one of the largest increases among regions in England, and the county also experienced an 11% increase in spending.

Sir Gary added: “A decline in the value of sterling will act as a further incentive for international visitors to holiday here as the dollar and the euro will go much further.

“We will continue to think big and to come up with ways we can promote Yorkshire to the world.

“The result does not mean we are any less welcoming to our friends in Europe or anywhere else in the world.”

Picture from Welcome To Yorkshire shows Yorkshire Air Museum, Elvington, York.