Tourism study calls for action to raise awareness of North York Moors Park
THE FINDINGS of a study into the impact of a massive potash mine development on tourism in the North York Moors National Park has found action is needed to raise awareness of the area.
Despite receiving more than seven million visitors a year and featuring as the backdrop to television shows and blockbusters such as the Sirius Minerals-funded Tourism Impact Review concluded there was “low awareness of the national park as a destination”.
Members of the North York Moors National Park Authority, which is seeking to increase visitor numbers, will hear the study found many of those ignorant of the park were familiar with York and did visit the city.
Susan Briggs, of the North York Moors Tourism Network, which represents some 500 businessesin the region, said part of the reason for the lack of awareness of the park could be related to it commonly being misnamed as the North Yorkshire Moors National Park.
She pointed out: “That could be the area around Haworth, some distance away from the park, and people also do not realise the scope of the North York Moors, it includes inland areas as well as the coast.”
One of the key recommendations of the first year Tourism Impact Review was that the authority undertook joint promotional activity to promote York and the North York Moors as destinations.
It has been proposed to commission tourism body Visit York, which has a database the authority can use, to raise awareness of the national park and its proximity to York, to promote the North York Moors.
Part of the promotional campaign looks set to include bolstering the Dark Skies Festival in the park in February and March on the back of the Jorvik Viking Festival, which attracts more than 40,000 visitors annually. The campaign will also raise awareness of a “two centre idea” to drive visitor numbers to the area ahead of the peak tourist season.