Destination Harrogate – Summer Update

by John McGivern, Destination Events Manager

Summer is here and do you find it makes you more sociable? Warm weather and blue skies naturally lift our mood and make us want to grab a group of friends and head outside to enjoy it all. Eating and drinking al fresco, sports and games in the park – it’s a great time for being around people and making new friends while cherishing the old.

Over the past few months, life at Destination Harrogate has been all about coming together, meeting new people and sharing ideas as part of the new North Yorkshire Council. We’re almost three months into our new way of working and through a fantastic collaborative effort, we’ve been bringing together some exciting activity for summer.

We’ve been working hard with our North Yorkshire colleagues in showcasing this fantastic part of the UK as a place to enjoy an amazing break away from the norm, and with the peak tourist season upon us, we’re shouting about our region to the rest of the country and beyond. Our “No Place Like North Yorkshire” digital content marketing campaign brings together everything that’s wonderful about our county from coast and countryside to moors, dales and more. It’s been a great opportunity to showcase our shared tourism strengths – such as history and culture – while also highlighting the unique features of own individual areas, such as the spa origins of Harrogate. Across web platforms and social media, the campaign has been targeting the London audience as well as a regional base within a two-hour drive time, and in opening up the whole of North Yorkshire as a destination, it encourages even longer breaks for visitors to spend time here, from a week’s stay to two weeks and more.

One of our regular summer highlights for Harrogate and a huge event on our destination’s annual calendar is of course the Great Yorkshire Show. This year we’re thrilled to be attending as North Yorkshire, echoing our drive to encourage show-goers to explore more of the area while they’re here, and to come back again another time. As with our digital marketing, the objective of a presence at the show is to encourage visitors to have even longer holidays here and to explore this part of the world even further, by highlighting the fantastic things to do across the whole county. It’s been great to work with our North Yorkshire colleagues to make this happen, to learn in more detail about the areas that we all represent and to find out what we can each bring to the party (or should that be barbecue?) for a really varied and enriched visitor experience.

I’m also excited to share that the creation of our new county-wide Destination Management Plan is well underway.  It’s a significant milestone, since it galvanizes our joint commitment in working to create a strong visitor economy for us all, through showcasing North Yorkshire as a first class destination to visit, work, live, meet and invest. We’ll build on our shared strengths and common themes, whilst also retaining our unique identities within each area, to ensure our county remains at the forefront of visitor interest and grows even stronger as a destination of choice.

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