Visit Harrogate has beaten off stiff competition from towns and cities across the North of England to host a prestigious event aimed at promoting Yorkshire and the UK as a magnet for international tourism.
Harrogate is one of a number of destinations involved in a programme of activity led by VisitEngland to promote the North of England, working closely with VisitBritain and partner destinations from across the region.
The £10m Northern Tourism Growth Fund is a central government funded programme of activity, supported by match funding by partners in the public and private sectors.
The ‘Best of the North’ event held at Harrogate International Centre (HIC) between 7-9 December will see 60 travel buyers from across the globe meet 60 suppliers from the North of England. The group spans providers from York, Harrogate and the surrounding district including Skipton Castle, Ripon Museums, and Swinton Park.
Visit Harrogate secured the coveted bid thanks to support from HIC and wide-ranging local hotels and attractions, who collaborated to create a lively and engaging welcome for the buyers – who will enjoy a packed programme including dining at the Royal Hall, tasting gin with Slingsby Gin, and touring popular destinations including Fountains Abbey, Newby Hall and the Turkish Baths.
Sibh Megson, marketing manager for Visit Harrogate, the destination marketing organisation for Harrogate and District, says the event will bring wide-ranging benefits for the wider tourism economy across the North of England.
She said: “Alongside VisitEngland, we are proud to maximise the opportunity to showcase our diverse district to such influential international buyers.
“Best of the North enhances our overarching aim to increase the number of visitors to the district and to encourage them to stay longer by showcasing the wealth of attractions and vibrant experiences on offer.
“Our collaborative approach is paying dividends and we also thank Marketing Cheshire, who led the event organisation on behalf of the Northern destination marketing organisations.”
James Berresford, chief executive of VisitEngland said: “‘The Best of the North’ event being held next week in Harrogate is the largest event of its kind to take place in the North and a fantastic example of how our partners are working together to promote the North of England as a fantastic place to visit; putting its assets firmly on the map.”