OPINION: The seeds have been sown for success - Gemma Rio, Destination Harrogate

As we get ready to celebrate Easter, it feels like a time to celebrate new beginnings.

By The Newsroom
Thursday, 14th April 2022, 10:26 am
22nd May 2021
Flower Show 2021 Spring Essentials, Harrogate.
Pictured Jenny Marshall and her 6 year old daughter Poppy take a look at one of the flower displays at the show
Picture Gerard Binks
22nd May 2021 Flower Show 2021 Spring Essentials, Harrogate. Pictured Jenny Marshall and her 6 year old daughter Poppy take a look at one of the flower displays at the show Picture Gerard Binks

Fresh from the launch of our new Destination Management Organisation and Destination Management Plan, spring burst forth with signs of new life, from the blossoms and blooms of our parks and gardens to the newborn lambs of Nidderdale’s rolling hills.

It’s a joyful time to get out and explore everything that we are so fortunate to have here in the Harrogate district on an Easter staycation, making the most of the longer daylight hours and enjoying our fabulous attractions and experiences in the colours of spring.

With the long Bank Holiday weekend and school holidays falling in April, it’s delightful to be sharing the beauty of our district at this special time of year with more visitors as well. We know how important the visitor economy is to our district, having been valued at more than £600m at pre-pandemic levels in 2019.

Sign up to our daily Harrogate Advertiser Today newsletter

If every overnight visitor to the Harrogate district stayed just one more night, it would provide an extra £115m boost to our local economy – which is why attracting people here for longer breaks is a vital part of our Destination Management Plan and recovery strategy following the pandemic. We’re continuing to reach out to new and returning visitors to the district through our promotional campaigns, with exciting activity planned for the weeks and months ahead.

This month, we’ve launched a new campaign to attract more visitors to stay here longer and explore our district further through visits focused around our fabulous gardens. It’s no secret that when it comes to exquisite, unique and bountiful gardens, the Harrogate district won’t be beaten.

We’re truly blessed with an unrivalled wealth and variety of garden spaces here, and our ‘See How Our Gardens Grow’ campaign invites visitors to experience the joy of connecting with nature and the outdoors by exploring some of the most delightful gardens in North Yorkshire.

As part of the campaign we’ve created new garden itineraries, to promote extended breaks and an appreciation of the wider area across which our gardens are spread. The new itineraries encourage visitors to theme their visits around discovering the diversity of our district and the amazing gardens to be discovered here.

It’s exciting to herald new ventures, but we cherish the familiar, and as well as acknowledging what’s new this month, we’re also celebrating the return of the much-loved Harrogate Flower Show. It’s fantastic to see this fabulous event back on the table, a perennial favourite of our events calendar that will once again be taking place at the Great Yorkshire Showground this April.

The Flower Show highlights our district not only regionally but on a national scale, kicking off the new gardening year in the UK and enticing visitors in to experience our floral excellence. We look forward to Visit Harrogate exhibiting at the show, encouraging show visitors to explore our wider district while they’re here. It’s well known that the UK is a nation of garden lovers, and the Royal Horticultural Society has estimated that the pandemic has created three million more gardeners. This gives us a wonderful opportunity to build further on the strength of our parks and gardens to draw in visitors, with the aim of encouraging them to return for subsequent visits, to experience more of what we have to offer.

With so much to feel excited about this spring, it’s clear to see that the Harrogate district really is blossoming. The seeds have been sown for success!

Twitter: @destinationharrogate

LinkedIn: Destination Harrogate