Dales to be used to entice visitors to North Yorkshire

The dark skies above Ribblehead Viaduct in the Yorkshire Dales.

The Yorkshire Dales will be used to help entice more visitors to the county under a new strategy being developed by the unitary authority.

Council chiefs say North Yorkshire already has an enviable reputation for its visitor economy due to a range of cultural attractions from historic stately homes to centuries-old castles and ancient monuments.

The county also has a succession of popular destinations including the coast, the Yorkshire Dales, the North York Moors and the famous spa town of Harrogate.

The first countywide plan is currently being developed to promote the industry and to help to attract a diverse range of visitors.

It is hoped the strategy will use well-known destinations as anchor locations to allow visitors to explore more of the county.

North Yorkshire Council’s leader, Cllr Carl Les, said: “We are in a hugely fortunate position that North Yorkshire has among the most recognisable destinations in the country.

“To have places such as the Yorkshire Dales, the North York Moors and towns including Harrogate, Scarborough and Whitby all in one county is an amazing asset for the visitor economy.

“We want to make sure that these hugely popular destinations continue to thrive and grow, but they also play such an important role in ensuring visitors get to sample more of North Yorkshire while they are here.

“The new destination management plan will be a hugely important means of ensuring that the visitor economy, which is such an important part of North Yorkshire’s overall economy, is developed in the coming years.”

Officers and members from North Yorkshire Council were at the Great Yorkshire Show this week to promote the county’s visitor economy.

A host of businesses were involved in the promotional drive at the Great Yorkshire Show, including representatives from the Inn Collection, Yorkshire Retreats, Provenance Inns and Sherburn Aero Club.

A draft of the destination management plan is due to be considered by councillors later this year, while a bid is set to be submitted to the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Support in September for North Yorkshire to become a Local Visitor Economy Partnership (LVEP).

The LVEP is set to involve both the private and public sectors and would need to follow a new national process to be eligible for support and potential funding from the Government.

The countywide strategy is being developed following the launch of North Yorkshire Council on April 1, and the authority says it is is engaging with businesses, business networks and the leisure, culture and tourism sectors across the county to help develop a strong partnership.

It will work alongside a new regional partnership that was established last year to promote the visitor economy across the whole of Yorkshire.

The partnership has representatives from councils across Yorkshire and is aiming to provide a co-ordinated approach to enhancing the visitor economy, with North Yorkshire a key element in the plans.

North Yorkshire Council’s executive member for the visitor economy, Cllr Derek Bastiman, said: “We are keen to ensure that the county is at the forefront of the region’s overall visitor economy. We will continue to work with colleagues across Yorkshire to ensure that is the case.

“The collaborative approach will mean that the whole of the region will benefit with more people visiting different parts of Yorkshire, and hopefully returning again to explore more of what is such a wonderful part of the country that we can all be immensely proud of.”

Tourism in North Yorkshire is worth £1.5 billion a year in the spend from domestic visitors. It accounts for 11 per cent of the county’s overall economy, and 41,200 workers are employed in the sector.

The destination management plan will aim to promote a year-round visitor economy and will also investigate ways of addressing skills shortages and increasing wages as workers in the sector have traditionally had lower salaries.

For instance, the new strategy is aiming to capitalise on the designation of the Yorkshire Dales and North York Moors National Parks as an International Dark Skies Reserve in December 2020 to bring more visitors to the county during the traditionally quieter autumn and winter months.

The Scarborough Fair Festivals will stage the first ever Winter Lights Festival this winter in a bid to draw more visitors to the coast.



  1. This is all very well, BUT the visitors to the more remote parts of North Yorkshire staying in holiday let’s mostly owned by remote ( non yorkshire ) individuals and businesses, very often mean there is little or NO spend and addition to the local economy when they arrive having pre booked supermarket deliveries from Ocado , Tesco ( rarely Morrisons) etc. they don’t even try to shop locally and rarely use the local restaurants and pubs either. So all the visitors’ money goes into the pickets of non Yorkshire people and businesses. I’m in Coverdale…it’s 25 minutes to a pint of milk or petrol, I love living here ( full time) …but object to the increased number of “ visitors “ who are not boosting local revenue., ( many just don Lycra and hurtle around tge roads head down, clueless if where they are, and also block the roads with their bikes and cars and are clueless about how remote rural Yorkshire even works.

  2. We need more people like Sara Baldwin-Cole who bring common sense to the proportion of tax payers money that finds its way into promoting tourism in the Dales. The number of local electors who actually derive their income from tourism is quite modest compared to those who now work from home in Coverdale and actually contribute much need tax to our public services in this country.

  3. In June of 2017, my wife and I visited the towns of Ebberston and Brompton-by-Sawdon seeking to walk in the footsteps of my great-greatgrandparents (Dowsland & Vasey). We did stay with a local family (Airbnb) in East Ayton and shopped at a nearby Morrisons and enjoyed lovely dinners at The Grapes and another nearby country inn. We got around via an Enterprise rental car (Scarborough) and very much enjoyed driving between family graveyards and to Langdale (family name) End, Pickering, Lastingham and Sherburn. We would very much like to see the residents and shopkeepers of the Ryedale district (and nearby) prosper and thrive!

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