Welcome to Yorkshire boss urges business to 'keep calm' after Brexit

Gary Verity
Gary Verity

The boss of Welcome to Yorkshire this week urged the region’s businesses to stay strong and keep united as the world takes stock of Britain’s decision to leave the EU.

The region’s tourism organisation is appealing to businesses to continue their good work in ensuring Yorkshire is the country’s number-one tourist destination.

Welcome to Yorkshire is predicting a potential boom in staycation holidaymakers and is sending a message to international visitors that they are welcome in Yorkshire.

Sir Gary Verity, chief executive of Welcome to Yorkshire, said: “The question that many of our members and businesses within Yorkshire are asking is: how will this affect tourism, how will this affect us?

“We would urge communities in Yorkshire to do what they do best and that is to pull together and support each other like never before. We need to stand united, to ‘keep calm and carry on’ with our work of making Yorkshire a friendly, attractive and inspiring place to visit for domestic and international visitors alike.”

“No one knows for certain what a post-EU UK would look like but it is likely to be a lot more expensive for domestic travellers to fly abroad. Perhaps this means there will be a boom in ‘staycations’, with more and more people looking to stay within the UK and looking at Yorkshire as somewhere to spend their break.”

Numbers of domestic overnight trips to Yorkshire grew by 20 per cent in 2015, one of the largest increases among regions in England. The county also experienced an 11 per cent increase in spending.

Sir Gary added: “A decline in the value of sterling will act as a further incentive for international visitors to holiday here as the dollar and the euro will go much further.

“International visitors are important to us and we are working hard to ensure Yorkshire is marketed globally.”

“We will continue to think big and to come up with ways we can promote Yorkshire to the world. We remain naturally optimistic and we take the view that the best of our work is in front of us.

“The result does not mean we are any less welcoming to our friends in Europe or anywhere else in the world. We will work harder than ever to ensure their stay is warm, welcoming and memorable and we will continue as ever in our mission to make Yorkshire the number-one tourist destination.”