Welcome to Yorkshire Board Meeting Update and Seasonal Message from Chair Peter Box CBE
I want to thank everyone for your continued support and bring you up to date with what was discussed at the Welcome to Yorkshire Board meeting on Thursday 9th December 2021.
It was my great pleasure to welcome John Gallery as a new board member. John has spent his whole career in tourism, working for Swallow Hotels, Marriott Hotel in York and as a tourism consultant covering destinations, hotels, attractions, railways and hospitality. He works with the Herriot Country Tourism Group in North Yorkshire and is incredibly enthusiastic about using his knowledge and experience to ensure Welcome to Yorkshire is a successful DMO, making a positive impact on behalf of businesses and communities across the region.
John’s executive background will also provide added depth to our newly strengthened Leadership Team. Welcome to Yorkshire’s recently appointed Director of Strategic Engagement’s responsibilities include liaising with political leaders and local authorities. Our Head of Digital and E-commerce looks after Welcome to Yorkshire’s social media, marketing and digital campaigns. The organisation’s Head of Commercial is responsible for attracting commercial membership. I am grateful to each of them for stepping up and doing first-class jobs.
We have written to every MP in Yorkshire to invite them to lobby the Culture Secretary to support the recommendations outlined in the independent review of destination management organisations. Metro mayors have also been asked to support this campaign.
The Board agreed to move forward with a review on the future direction of Welcome to Yorkshire, with further details being announced early in the New Year. We are grateful to the Yorkshire Leaders for confirming their own strategic review. It is important that our work does not overlap with their process and is complementary to it. Our intention is for the Welcome to Yorkshire review to include important research on the region’s tourism sector conducted over the last two years. We look forward to producing a final report for consideration by the Yorkshire Leaders in February.
The Board was delighted to receive a report celebrating recent Welcome to Yorkshire successes. Our Walkshire campaign was shortlisted for Best Social Purpose Campaign at the Prolific North Marketing Awards, alongside Asda and Channel 4. One of our commercial managers organised a business breakfast at Tech Week Humber attended by over 60 delegates. I am told that our stand looked fantastic with lots of leads generated. We ran a joint competition with Sheffield Hallam University and Screen Yorkshire for students to celebrate Yorkshire life through film. An awards ceremony has been held and we hope to launch a new film competition with the same partners next year themed on food and drink. The Yorkshire Cancer Research/ Welcome to Yorkshire 2022 calendar is now available to buy, showcasing Yorkshire and raising funds for life-saving cancer research.
Following the Government announcement on new Covid-19 restrictions, the Leadership Team has agreed that staff will work from home from Monday 13th December. However, as with similar instances including full lockdowns, we will ensure a big online presence for Welcome to Yorkshire with every channel being available for those who need our support. We fully understand the increased difficulty the industry is enduring and will help you in every way we can.
Finally, I want to publicly thank staff at all levels of Welcome to Yorkshire for their hard work and dedication over a challenging last 12 months.
On behalf of everyone at Welcome to Yorkshire, I wish you and them a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
Peter Box CBE
Chair of Welcome to Yorkshire - Yorkshire.com