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York tourism conference hails surge in visitors
YORK’S tourism industry is at the centre of an upsurge in visitor numbers according to record-breaking figures being announced today.
More than 200 delegates at the annual Visit York Tourism Conference, held today at the Royal York Hotel, will hear that so far in 2013 visits to the city’s attractions are up by a record 16 per cent between January and August compared with the same time last year.
Visit York’s Information Centre in Museum Street is reporting 311,000 visits to date this year, and 1.6 million visitors in total since the centre opened in 2010 – a record high for any three-year period against the centre’s previous operation in De Grey Rooms.
Today’s conference will also reveal that hotel room rates in York are up two per cent to £76.54, with room occupancy for the year so far on par with same period as last year at 77.2 per cent, a higher than national average figure.
The event, entitled Tourism Insights, is being hosted by BBC Radio York presenter Adam Tomlinson, with keynote speaker Simon Calder, senior travel editor at The Independent, offering his views on how tourism businesses can increase revenue.
Gillian Cruddas, chief executive of Visit York, said: “York has put on more quality events, festivals and exhibitions than ever before.
“Our latest tourism figures demonstrate that visitors appreciate the huge variety of things to see and do here.
“I hope that the conference and our expert line up of speakers gives delegates valuable insights into the current tourism climate, inspiring them to ensure York’s tourism industry continues to flourish as we head into 2014.”
Visit York officials have attributed the rising number in visitors to the addition of new attractions and events such as the National Railway Museum’s Mallard 75, interest in Richard III at the Yorkshire Museum, the new attraction Revealing York Minster, the good weather over the summer and increased marketing activity.
Coun Sonja Crisp, City of York Council cabinet member for tourism, said: “Increasing the economic impact of tourism is our number-one priority and I’m delighted by our latest tourism figures which reflect our vibrant city centre offer.”
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