OPINION: Turning up the heat for Harrogate tourism - John McGivern, Destination Harrogate

While the Harrogate district has been basking in warm summer weather lately, in perfect time for the return of the Great Yorkshire Show, it feels as if the action at Destination Harrogate HQ has been heating up for months.

Since the launch of our new destination management organisation, it’s been full steam ahead to deliver a packed programme of events and marketing activity and we’re pleased to be in a position already where we can reflect on some great successes, while continuing to push forward with the exciting delivery of our destination management plan.

Events Harrogate has been busy networking with clients and events professionals to showcase the Harrogate district as a first choice destination for events of distinction.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Our recent attendance at The Meetings Show led to some really positive discussions and we look forward to further engagement with leads. We also received excellent feedback from the Local Government Association, who were in Harrogate for their first in-person Annual Conference since 2019 and to whom we were delighted to extend a warm Town Welcome.

Last month we were pleased to announce that the visitor economy of the Harrogate district is on the right path to recovery, painting a sunny picture for the local tourism industry as summer holidays and the staycation season get underway, and for our local economy as a whole.

Despite the continuing challenges of the pandemic last year, data shows that the Harrogate district attracted more than four million visitors in 2021, generating £457million for the local economy. Visitors moreover were staying longer and spending more money with local businesses in 2021 than they did prior to the pandemic. Hotels this spring have been largely fuller and seeing a greater level of revenue per available room than they were in 2019, indicating a great start to the 2022 peak season. You can find out more at our website: www.destinationharrogate.co.uk

It was wonderful for Destination Harrogate to be presented with the Tourism Award at the Harrogate Business Excellence Awards at the end of June. And to be recognised for our contribution to improving the Harrogate district as a visitor destination, for our 2021 “Destination Christmas” campaign. The award recognised that the campaign attracted more visitors to the Harrogate district at Christmas time, a crucial time for businesses; increased awareness of the Harrogate district as a perfect place to visit in the pre-Christmas period; and raised awareness of the district more generally as a first choice destination to visit for short breaks. To have received the award whilst in the presence of the best of the Harrogate business community was a privilege.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Of course, planning for Destination Christmas 2022 is well underway and we’ll be making more exciting announcements about our festive extravaganza soon.

More immediately, however, we are thrilled to be hosting the Visit Harrogate stand at the Great Yorkshire Show this week. Together with the partners we have joining us on our stand, we’re encouraging show-goers to enjoy longer breaks in the Harrogate district and explore more of our fantastic attractions and experiences.

We are also, of course, getting fired up for Carnival - a sensational, sizzling, family-friendly, multicultural celebration that we’re delighted to be bringing back to the Harrogate district on 30th July. It’s an awesome event that both local residents and visitors can enjoy, and with the early signs from the STEAM and STR figures suggesting a strong start to the summer season, we can look forward to a further boost to the recovery of our visitor economy.

With amazing events such as this making a welcome return this year, adding an exciting dimension to summer that has been missed over the past two years, it feels very cool to be turning up the heat in the Harrogate district in all the right ways.

Related topics:

Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.