THE support of local residents is vital if the city is to recover and prosper, York Minster says, as major attractions welcome The Press’ tourism recovery campaign.

We want to help the industry - a vital part of York’s economy - get back on track after the coronavirus crisis, and will be celebrating some of the attractions and businesses that help make the city a great place to visit.

York Minster, which reopened for worship on July 4 and for sight-seeing visits on July 11, is among those that have welcomed The Press' new campaign.

The Covid-19 pandemic has had a “catastrophic effect” on the Minster’s finances, a spokesperson for the cathedral said.

“Our visitor income disappeared virtually overnight as a result of lockdown, contributing to an anticipated projected shortfall of £5.2 million against budgeted income of £9.4 million,” they explained.

The spokesperson said that local support is “vital if York is to recover, prosper and thrive".

“York’s businesses and tourism destinations need our locals to come back and rediscover their city,” they said.

The spokesperson added that the Minster’s timed entry slots with reduced capacity since reopening have proved to be “extremely popular” with several dates completely selling out in advance.

“Visitors have responded positively to the safety measures that we have put in place,” they said.

Other attractions that have welcomed the We’re Backing York campaign include the National Railway Museum (NRM) and York Dungeon.

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Judith McNicol, director of the NRM, which will reopen for visitors in stages from August 4, said the attraction, like all parts of the economy, has been hit hard by the Covid-19 pandemic, both financially and in terms of disruption to its day to day operations.

“Closing the museum for more than four months of the year has been an unprecedented step, but it was necessary to ensure public safety,” she said.

“We are now just a few weeks away from reopening and we are looking forward to welcoming visitors through the doors once again. Tourism is vital to York’s economy and we are lucky to have such a great range of museums and other attractions to choose from. I would certainly welcome this campaign.”

Since York Dungeon reopened on July 18, staff have been “thrilled” to see large numbers of visitors returning, general manager Andy Turner said.

“It’s been a difficult time for many businesses, especially those that rely on tourism, but we can’t wait to continue welcoming guests throughout the summer,” he said. “We welcome the York Press’ campaign to boost tourism in the city, as it’s vital that businesses support each other as we all navigate a new way of doing things.”

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