Welcome to Yorkshire Statement - Lockdown Exit Roadmap


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More businesses will close if financial support is not continued...as the ‘Outdoor Economy’ is set to grow but not suitable for all

Following Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s announcement, outlining the plans for England’s roadmap out of lockdown, Welcome to Yorkshire Chief Executive James Mason said “There is much to consider especially after a particularly turbulent year for tourism.”

He has also warned that, “Many businesses, particularly in hospitality may not find a way through the latest restrictions, if they cannot open before summer and further financial support is not forthcoming.” 

Whilst Welcome to Yorkshire acknowledge that there are merits in the latest announcements, including the specific dates set forward allowing businesses to reopen and a no tier system allowing for continued consistency of rules across the country, the destination management organisation will lobby on behalf of the tourism sector, for a clear and much-needed plan from the Government to offer and outline crucial economic support for businesses. “The wait of financial uncertainty from February 15th until a March 3rd budget announcement is too long for any business to make plans, support staffing decisions or simply to assess their future viability,” added Mr Mason. 


Welcome to Yorkshire will also continue to work closely with the county’s amazing attractions, brilliant businesses and local authorities to enable the tourism sector to reopen, recover and rebuild as safely and as successfully as possible. The promotion of the ‘Outdoor Economy’ is the first stage in ‘reopening’, with group meetings outside possible in the near future and hospitality venues able to serve food and drink outdoors. Whilst this is a positive step, many hospitality businesses have limited or no outdoor space. James Mason commented “Serving outdoors ‘only’ will not be practical for all establishments but those that can have this option may well take the opportunity to exercise it, and if financially viable all things considered, they should. The ‘Outdoor Economy’ will only grow as people feel as safe as they did before. In time we’ll see, but these are the first steps as a route back to normality before society is fully reopened.”

Continuing to instil confidence, for visitors and business owners, is crucial and the introduction of VisitBritain/VisitEngland’s ‘We're Good to Go' Industry Standard is one of many initiatives to reassure customers that Government and public health guidance is being adhered to.

Working together as #YorkshireTogether is more important now than ever and we can continue to collectively surge forward successfully as we emerge from the restrictions of the latest lockdown. 

- ENDS –


Image attached: Welcome to Yorkshire Chief Executive James Mason


Notes to editors:

-       Pre-pandemic tourism in Yorkshire was worth a staggering £9 billion annually to the county’s economy, with the region’s tourism and hospitality industry employing almost 225,000 people. It is therefore important that Welcome to Yorkshire continues to successfully work with the tourism sector in what will be critical and challenging times ahead and that Government guidelines in the coming months are consistent and clear.

  • Yorkshire has much to offer, including vibrant cities, a spectacular coastline, stunning countryside, tempting towns, astounding arts, fabulous food and delicious drink, as well as a wealth of history and heritage. Its abundant open spaces also means it’s a magnet for visitors wishing to make the most of a longed-for break to enjoy the great outdoors. The forecast for lockdown to lift and the limitations for overseas travel, means the thirst for staycations will be welcomed to kick-start the tourism and hospitality industry once more and encourage visits to attractions and locations, providing what will be a much-needed financial boost to this struggling sector.
  • Welcome to Yorkshire has an annual social reach of circa 20 million engagements and a global brand reach of over 23 million.
  • Welcome to Yorkshire is the official destination management organisation for Yorkshire, working to grow the county’s visitor economy.
  • Welcome to Yorkshire is a not-for-profit membership organisation, funded in part by grants, sponsorship and Welcome to Yorkshire members. All money raised is reinvested directly back into promoting Yorkshire.

We would encourage all tourism businesses and those with a love of Yorkshire to be part of the county’s future and to become members of Welcome to Yorkshire. yorkshire.com

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For further information please contact:

Carolyn Nicoll – Senior Communications Officer & Editor of This Is Y magazine

E: cnicoll@yorkshire.com M: 07719 673029


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