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Evening and Part Time Adult Courses at York College this New Year

Visit York pledges smarter digital marketing

Sally Greenaway Visit York

4:31pm 17th January 2018

300 delegates from across the tourism sector in York, Yorkshire and beyond, have today (Wednesday 17 January) been to VYCON, the Visit York annual tourism conference.

At the event Head of Visit York, Sally Greenaway, pledged to ensure the city’s marketing will get even smarter, ensuring York stays ahead of its competitors in the year ahead.

Themed, ‘Tourism Marketing in the Digital Age’, sponsored by Leeds Bradford International Airport and compered by BBC Presenter Clare Frisby, delegates heard from a variety of speakers who are experts in their field.

A new digital marketing campaign will be launched during English Tourism Week in March and planning for this is now full steam ahead.

‘Only in York’ will feature everything that makes York stand out and different to other destinations.

Attractions, shops, restaurants and other tourism venues will be encouraged to join together to use the Twitter hashtag #onlyinyork.

Some impressive figures have been shared at the conference today too, as well as the very latest tourism figures for hotel and bed occupancy and visits to attractions for January 2017 to December 2017.

Hotel room occupancy was up by 1.4% v 2016, with the average occupancy at 79%. Average room rates were up by 2.4% and reached a £97 average for the whole year.

Visits to attractions were up by 4.5% (like for like comparison, excluding Jorvik) and the re-opening of JORVIK added an additional 328,000 visitors, taking the total year on year gain to 17%.

A total of 2.8 million visits (excluding Jorvik figures) were made to attractions in 2017 v 2.6 million in 2016. When Jorvik figures are added the total is an impressive 3.1 million.

These are the *second best results since records began in 2005.


Lendal Bridge

York also enjoyed its most successful St Nicholas Fair and was named most Festive City in the UK in a survey of positive social media comments, conducted by Virgin Trains.

During the York Christmas Festival footfall in Parliament Street exceeded 1 million (1,009,728) for the first time ever and footfall was also up by 5% on the previous year.

 Visit York has increased its social media following with Instagram seeing the biggest growth at 127% followed by Facebook at 30% and Twitter at 10% growth.


Visit York 1


Sally Greenaway (pictured above) told Minster FM 

“Millennials in particular, which are a growing audience for us, are much more likely to visit somewhere they have seen in their social media streams.

And over 90% of consumers say that social media influences their buying decisions.

So we really must take advantage of this and ensure digital communications continue to be a key channel for us in 2018 and complement our traditional marketing.”

York Pass, the city sightseeing pass, had its best year yet too in terms of sales. 94,000 visits were made to York attractions with a York Pass in 2017, a 55% year on year increase.

Maximising digital channels is the focus of Sally’s message.

“It is absolutely crucial we are able to offer every visitor a First Class experience when researching about York, whether pre trip, during their trip or after they have visited. Our new visityork.org website launching in the spring will play a critical part in our digital strategy, but also, customer relationship management is a massive opportunity for the year ahead.”

Making York stand out from other destinations will be at the very heart of everything Visit York does this year. 2018 will promise the best festival line-up yet, including the return of the York Balloon Fiesta and new events such as Europe’s first ever pop-up Shakespearean Theatre, Bloom! celebrating 250 years of the oldest Florists’ Society in the world and the brand new International Festival of Media Arts, York Mediale.

York Minster

Evening and Part Time Adult Courses at York College this New Year
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