Local and national tourists are eager to reacquaint themselves with Leeds’ shops, restaurants and cultural attractions according to the results of a recent survey exploring potential visitors’ plans post-lockdown.
Visit Leeds, the official Destination Management Organisation run by Leeds City Council, polled over 2,900 adults on their travel plans once restrictions have begun to ease, as part of its mission to lead the city’s tourism recovery.
The results of the survey found that 37.9 per cent of people hope to travel in the UK as soon as lockdown restrictions have eased, while a majority of 40.7 poer cent plan on travelling one to three months after restrictions have eased.
When asked about the activities at the top of the agenda for those planning a visit to Leeds, 41 per cent said they can’t wait to shop at Leeds’ unrivalled breadth of retailers, which range from well-known high street stores to iconic luxury brands situated in breath-taking Victorian arcades.
Over a quarter of respondents meanwhile, stated an intent to visit the city’s numerous theatres, museums and galleries, while a further 25% are eager to reacquaint themselves with the city’s restaurants cafes, bars and dining scene.
Belinda Eldrige, Head of Service, Visitor Economy, Inward Investment and International Relations at Visit Leeds, said: “The results of our survey show that there is plenty of pent-up demand from potential visitors to the city, many of whom can’t wait to get back to the shops and restaurants they’ve sorely missed.
“It’s been five months since the city’s hospitality venues welcomed customers and three since non-essential retailers last opened their doors, so naturally, people are excited to make up for lost time.
“The survey has formed part of our drive to lead Leeds’ tourism recovery by enabling us to fully understand the plans and preferences of those planning to visit the city over the coming weeks and months. At the same time, we’ve published a raft of content on our website which aims to make planning a visit as easy as possible.
“Ultimately, we want to help visitors, retailers, hospitality providers and those managing the city’s plethora of cultural attractions to embrace what is set to be an exciting spring and summer ahead.”
The results of the survey also revealed the activities people are most looking forward to when restrictions ease, with seeing friends and family, going for a meal, and taking a city break being the three most popular choices.
The survey results also offered a boost to the city’s hotels and accommodation sector, with 75% of the respondents stating they would be on the hunt for a two-three night break.
Despite the vast majority aiming to travel soon after restrictions have eased, some remain much more cautious, with 6.3% saying they do not plan to travel until restrictions have completely lifted.
Belinda continued: “While we know there will be plenty of people who want their lives to go back to normal as quickly as possible, others will understandably be much more cautious in their approach.
“Our priority is ensuring that visitors and locals continue to feel safe when visiting Leeds, which is why we have published a detailed guide to how visitors can plan a safe and enjoyable trip to the city, as well as an A-Z guide which details the extra safety measures in place. The city’s businesses have worked extremely hard to install these measures in order to create Covid-safe environments and ultimately ensure visitors can enjoy everything the city has to offer in confidence.”