Tourism chiefs planning major event in region
Highlights of a fantastic Freedom Festival and, below, Epicycle put on a show at West Park for the City of Culture 2017
By Hull Daily Mail | Posted: 9 Jul 2018
THE region’s tourism chiefs are looking at bringing a major new crowd-pulling event to the area.
The move could see something on the scale of the Tour de Yorkshire or the Tall Ships Race being staged here.
It is part of a new five-year tourism strategy being drawn up for Hull and the East Riding due to start next year.
Officials from the Visit Hull and East Yorkshire (VHEY) partnership say they are hoping to develop a “significant event that crosses political boundaries” as part of the strategy.
The aim is to extend the current range of regular events and festivals held across the region.
East Riding Council tourism manager Andy Gray said: “Visitors do not recognise local authority boundaries, they come for a range of reasons, whether it’s an event, a city break, a holiday on the coast or in the Wolds or a conference.
“We have set up a small team to explore the idea of a large new event.
“It’s not set in stone what it might be, but the last time we did something similar, the result was the first Freedom Festival and look how that has developed over the years.”
The strategy aims to grow the annual value of the region’s tourism and visitor economy to £1bn by 2024.
Latest figures for 2016, which include overnight and day trip visitor spends and business turnover put that value at £835m.
The partnership, which includes the region’s two councils and business representatives, says one of its key priorities is to establish Hull and East Yorkshire as a “quality destination”.
“We want to grow the visitor economy and meet and exceed the expectations of visitors,” said Mr Gray.
“A big challenge for us is converting day visits into overnight stays.”
Councillor Richard Burton, the East Riding’s portfolio for tourism, said: “The celebration of Hull as the UK City of Culture and significant events such as the Tour de Yorkshire provides a unique legacy opportunity, which we all must grasp.
“It is essential that businesses access and engage with the strategy and work with us to deliver the outcomes.
“This is the cornerstone of the strategy and ongoing communication with the tourism industry is crucial.”
Overseas growth is a winner for coffee specialist as it takes top spot in Fast Track rankings