Tourism study calls for ac­tion to raise aware­ness of North York Moors Park

Yorkshire Post - - NEWS -

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.

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