Welcome to Yorkshire, the English county’s main tourism body and destination marketing organisation, has gone into administration.
The Yorkshire Leaders Board, which is a partnership of 22 local authorities and two mayoral combined authorities, reached the decision to stop funding as “a new approach was needed” for the marketing of the Yorkshire region.
A statement from the local government leaders said: “The decision means that Welcome to Yorkshire, the region’s current destination marketing organisation, will no longer receive public funding via local authorities to promote tourism in the region.”
An independent review, commissioned by the Leaders Board in November last year, had looked into the structure and function of destination management and marketing across Yorkshire.
Co-chair of the Yorkshire Leaders Board, Cllr Stephen Houghton, who is Leader of Barnsley Council, said: “Every district, borough and county in Yorkshire benefits from tourism. The industry, and the communities that rely on it, deserve our support, in particular as we continue to recover from the effects of a global pandemic over the last years.
“Welcome to Yorkshire has played a pivotal role over the last decade, enabling us to bring high-profile sporting events and investment to the region, and showcasing our talent and diverse offer. But a lot has changed and, following consideration of the views of our public and private sector stakeholders on the current arrangements, we have unanimously agreed that a new approach is needed.”
The statement added that leaders will meet again in May this year to agree the timeline for the establishment of the new organisation, and to engage with businesses to develop a firm that would meet the needs of both the public and private clients.
The news will come as a blow for the region as its tourism sector aims to recover from the pandemic.