A ‘Light and Dark’ festival, week-long offers for key workers and more – part of £100K York tourism plan

17 Jul 2020 @ 7.59 am
| News

A draft tourism plan to help York’s recovery from the coronavirus lockdown has been unveiled.

Costing £100,000 the strategy, drawn up by City of York Council and Make It York, could include a series of new events.

A ‘Light and Dark’ festival for the October half term and a Our Heroes Welcome week from 1 August for Yorkshire Day – a week to thank the incredible commitment of the city’s key workers, with a celebratory cruise held in partnership with City Cruises York – are two of the key plans.

This will be the ‘equivalent of the residents festival – retailers with offers exclusively for keyworkers’.

The £100K investment will include targeted advertising, including digital and radio, press initiatives and new digital content, photography and video, and the curation of the programme of events throughout the summer and autumn of 2020.

A council spokesperson said: “One of the core elements of the strategy is working collaboratively with businesses including attractions, retail and hospitality to create unique and special experiences designed to attract targeted audiences to the city, and keep them returning to the city.”

The proposal is to be discussed at a meeting on the Council’s Executive on 23 July – read the full draft strategy here.

Themed programme – draft

Michael Vanheste from the Betty’s Cookery School at the York Food and Drink Festival 2014. Photograph © Allan Harris on Flickr

Our heroes welcome

When: 1-7 August (inc Yorkshire Day)

What: Equivalent of the residents festival – retailers with offers exclusively for keyworkers

Celebrating York

When: 1 – 31 August (inc Yorkshire Day)

What: Harness civic pride – celebrate all York has introduced to the world/UK/region. Celebrate Yorkshire

Taste of Yorkshire

When: 18-27 September Festival of Food

What: Showcase the great food and drink extension/replacement
for food festival) National affinity marketing partner (Yorkshire Tea?)

Light and dark

When: October half term (2 weeks)

What: Blend history and art to light up our built heritage and explore the shadows

Winter wonderland

When: (14 Nov – 24 Dec?) St Nicks

What: Local business market and Christmas experiences. Resident discounts at twilight hours

What they say

Cllr Darryl Smalley

Cllr Darryl Smalley, executive member for culture, leisure & communities said: “Residents are rightly proud of our city, its beauty and heritage, and I know that in response to the challenges posed by Covid-19 everyone is determined to support our local businesses. 

“We want to build on this to attract and inspire people to return to the city through experiences that promote York’s rich and dramatic history.”

Managing director of Make It York Sean Bullick said: “We are proud to support the city’s Our Heroes Welcome campaign, with Our Heroes at York Art Gallery, presenting portraits by York artist Karen Winship of some of the NHS workers who have worked tirelessly and selflessly throughout the pandemic. The exhibition will be free to enjoy for all.”

The targets and the costs

Tourism strategy – draft investment

Visual content to showcase our unique beauty and heritage £12,500
Advertising campaign inc. social, magazine and radio£30,000
Celebrating the best of York£37,500
Listings / what’s on£10,000
Monitoring visitor profile and anticipated spend (to adapt marketing to try and
maintain balance of capacity and revenue)
In addition, marketing in kind and support from local, regional and national supporters

Tourism marketing strategy 2020

Promoted offer AudienceAudience
Shop local /proud of our independent heritage: explore what’s on
your doorstep
Enjoy the cultural and high-end hospitality offer 1-2 hours drive
couples age 55yo+
Evening cultural experiences for overnight staysNE/NW
couples age 55yo+
“York and beyond” short break for up to 2-3 days stay in York NE/NW/national
Explore the unique pioneering social history / green value of York National
*in terms of anticipated spend per head