Covid's effect on tourism - Scarborough Council seeks your views as it aims to return to pre-2020 levels by the end of 2022

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A consultation is under way on how visitors can be attracted to come to the Scarborough borough as the Covid-19 pandemic continues.

Scarborough Council is updating its visitor economy strategy and destination plan in light of the coronavirus pandemic, which has had a devastating effect on this year’s holiday season.

The overall aim is to increase the value of tourism to the borough so that it has a positive impact on residents and businesses but does not affect the environment or damage local communities.

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The council says it is keen to build on existing traditional markets and at the same time look to attract additional aspirational, and affluent visitors, to the Yorkshire coast.

Whitby harbourWhitby harbour
Whitby harbour

One of the key objectives of the strategy is to encourage tourists to stay longer and explore more of what the borough has to offer.

This would be achieved by promoting its hidden gems, coastal and countryside villages and its beauty spots.

Other ideas include year-round festivals and events in order to mitigate drops in numbers out of season.

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The new destination plan will cover the period from now until 2030, which will incorporate Scarborough’s 400th anniversary in 2026.

An early target is to return the local visitor economy to pre-2020 levels by the end of 2022 and then look to increase the value by 4% year-on-year.

Cllr Liz Colling, Cabinet Member for Inclusive Growth, said: “The importance of the visitor economy to our borough can’t be overstated.

“Many of our residents have jobs connected to the tourist industry, so it’s vital our plans for growing this part of the economy are as good as they can be.

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“This new strategy – while ambitious for the borough – builds on the fantastic attractions and the stunning Yorkshire coast that we are already famed for.

“If we can capture more of the staycation market in future years it will be a shot in the arm for us.

“I encourage everyone to let us know what they think about our plans by taking part in this latest consultation.”

In the average year, more than 10 million visits are made to the borough, contributing more than £800 million to the local economy.