For the past 12 months, Ryedale District Council has been involved in an innovative programme of joint activity to encourage more overseas tourists to bypass London and the South East.
Working alongside destinations like Manchester, York, Hull and The Lake District, the Northern Tourism Growth Fund (NTGF) is bringing Ryedale to the attention of trade buyers and travel writers from the USA, Australia, China, Germany and Holland. Sales missions, sponsored events and hosted visits highlight opportunities for new itineraries and new tour themes, as well as promoting business connections and easy international connections that don’t require travel through London.
Ryedale’s visitor experiences promoted via VisitEngland website www.visitengland.com include taking a trip on the North Yorkshire Moors Railway, discovering the hidden gem of Ryedale Folk Museum and globally recognised Castle Howard, one of the top ten Historic Houses in the World. Ryedale’s Market Towns, Moors and Coast also feature in a suggested “48hrs from city to coast” experience.
Ryedale has strong links to David Hockney; Robert and Nicolas King – Washington DC’s surveyors and early city planners, Sir Francis Nicholson, “Father of Watercolour painting” and Rev George Piercy – Father of Chinese Methodist Church and this ability to inspire great figures will have particular resonance with overseas markets.
Social media superstars, the Vagabrothers, visited Ryedale as part of a 10 day tour in February and will release a travel video to 75,000 subscribers of their YouTube channel. Four American travel writers spent time in Helmsley and Rievaulx Abbey and a group from Australia (including upcoming celebrity chef Nelly Robinson) visited Helmsley and Ampleforth as part of their food and history themed itinerary.
Craig Nattress, Visitor Economy Officer at Ryedale District Council, said “Reaching international markets through the trade and media is expensive and requires specialist knowledge and connections, together with extensive staff resources. Working in partnership with the other Northern England destinations means that Ryedale shares the raised profile and the benefits, including raised awareness and more visitors supporting local jobs and businesses”.
Additional promotion comes from ‘Agent North’ a new online training module for overseas travel agents. Presenting local bookable tourism products in one easy to find reference, the English language version launched in the US and Australia, with translations due for China, Germany and Holland. Agent North will see 13,000 agents ‘licenced to thrill’ on completion.
There are new images available covering the whole of the north, and new consumer websites for each target market available e.g. northernengland.com.au