YORK is poised for a record year of visitors to the city thanks to a “unprecedented” number of festivals and events being staged this year.

Steve Brown, managing director of Make It York, made the claims at the destination management organisation’s three year stakeholder event yesterday.

As reported in The Press yesterday, the event highlighted achievements in promoting the city’s business, tourism, culture and science sectors over the last 12 months, as well as unveiling plans for the coming year to boost the economy.

Chairwoman of Make It York Jane Lady Gibson opened the event, hosted at The Principal hotel and attended by more than 300 delegates, by paying tribute to the volunteers who run the visitor centres, all the staff behind the scenes at Make it York, and the Make It York board, who are also volunteers.

The audience heard creating a vibrant festival and events scene was one of the key priorities for Make It York at last year’s event, resulting in a packed programme that includes the 10-week Shakespeare Rose Theatre programme, the second hot air balloon festival, the Great Yorkshire Fringe comedy festival and the inaugural Bloom celebrating the 250th anniversary of the Ancient Society of York Florists.

Mr Brown said: “The past few months have been the busiest we have known in the lifetime of Make it York and there are interesting projects in the pipeline.

“This year marks an unprecedented year for festival and events in the city. There is literally something for everyone.

“The festival and events programme is a massive opportunity to showcase the city, and frankly if we can’t attract record visitor numbers and record hotel bookings this year we are doing something wrong.

“We cannot and won’t just do what we have always done. The opportunity for York to improve and grow and develop over the next five years is both unique and massive. York is what we make it.”