‘York: The original city adventure’ – biggest tourism campaign yet to lure visitors back

York Minster, hosting the Mystery Plays this summer, will be one of the attractions highlighted in the campaign. Photograph: visityork.org / Anthony Chappel-Ross
4 Feb 2016 @ 11.10 am
| Business, News

The floodwaters are long gone – but life in York is still an adventure.

That’s the flavour of a new marketing campaign designed to bring tourists back to the city and help it bounce back after the Christmas deluge.

Going live next Tuesday (February 9), York: The Original City Adventure will be will be the biggest domestic tourism campaign yet for York and North Yorkshire.

Aimed primarily at audiences in London and the South East, and key markets in Scotland and the North, it will use a combination of London Underground posters, national press and digital channels.

Advertising space worth £500,000 has also been made available at Heathrow to promote York and other flood-hit areas.

Showcasing the best of York

Ruby Barker and Mark Comer who will play Mary and Joseph in the York Mystery Plays in the Minster this summer. Photograph: Duncan Lomax / Ravage Productions
Ruby Barker and Mark Comer who will play Mary and Joseph in the York Mystery Plays in the Minster this summer. Photograph: Duncan Lomax / Ravage Productions

It is part of the £1 million VisitEngland campaign to encourage British families and couples to spend their half term and Easter holidays in the North.

The campaign will focus on the key reasons to visit York this year, including

  • the return of the Flying Scotsman
  • the re-opening of York Theatre Royal
  • and the Mystery Plays at York Minster in May.

Kate McMullen, Head of Tourism, Make It York, said:

The look and feel of our new campaign has been developed to get across the fun and adventure you can have here.

Following the Boxing Day flooding our immediate priority is to boost short term bookings, however, we’re also planning for the whole year ahead and inviting visitors to create their very own adventure here.

It was a good time to persuade British people to book a holiday in our neck of the woods, said Sally Balcombe, boss of VisitEngland.

“This new marketing campaign aims to showcase the best to see and do in York and North Yorkshire, giving local businesses a boost now and for the months ahead.”

Reduced train fares

Culture secretary John Whittingdale (centre) with Sir Gary Verity of Welcome To Yorkshire and a Virgin East Coast train on York station. Photograph: Richard McDougall
Culture secretary John Whittingdale (centre) with Sir Gary Verity of Welcome To Yorkshire and a Virgin East Coast train on York station. Photograph: Richard McDougall

Virgin Trains East Coast is backing the campaign.

Make It York has brokered a partnership with Virgin so that customers will get 30% off advanced bookings for twelve weeks from February 9.

Phillip Peacock, brand partnerships manager for the train company, say more than three in ten visits to York are now made by train.

“There’s no better way to travel to York,” he said.

“This new campaign will help us get the message across loud and clear just how close the city is from the capital, with most journeys taking less than two hours.”

Other marketing activity will see renewed activity on social media and online, and international marketing targeting the United States, Germany, the Netherlands, Australia and China; funded by the Northern Tourism Growth Fund.

York design company LazenbyBrown will be working on the campaign.