The Yorkshire coast could be in line for a whopping £7m tourism boost if businesses give their support to a fundraising initiative.
Following positive research and commitment of funding from several local authorities, the Welcome to Yorkshire Coast Tourism Advisory Board is hoping to create a Destination Business Improvement District .
The advisory board is seeking support in cash or in kind from businesses Scarborough, Whitby, Filey and Bridlington, to spark the development stage.
Tourism marketing expenditure is currently shared between local authorities and Welcome to Yorkshire but this new initiative will provide extra funding to help generate new business for local operators. Mike Wilkinson, board member, said: “A successful Destination Business Improvement District would increase visitor numbers, improve the visitor experience and encourage repeat visits.
“It would also stimulate longer stays and increase spend with local businesses, so the benefits are obvious and there for the taking, all backed by qualitative research.”
Tremendous work has been achieved by Welcome to Yorkshire and the public sector but the advisory board feels there is a lack of certainty about the future of funding for the tourism marketing along the Yorkshire coast.
John Senior, board vice-chairman, said the concept of a Destination Business Improvement District would lead to useful new and extra tourism projects and services.
He added : “We must not get left behind our competitors and I hope that local businesses will get behind us and provide the necessary funding so that we can start the process.
“We have so much to offer and the funding would put additional marketing and other projects in the hands of the private sector on whom we rely for a large number of jobs.”
Other destinations such as Great Yarmouth and Bournemouth are already running successful bids with extra tourism budgets of up to £5m.