Bid to bring German health tourists to Yorkshire building on success of Tour de France

Darlington and Stockton Times: LE TOUR: The peloton makes it's way over Buttertubs Pass in the Yorkshire Dales. Work now needs to begin on capitalising on the exposure Yorkshire received in order to boost tourism, says head of tourism network LE TOUR: The peloton makes it's way over Buttertubs Pass in the Yorkshire Dales. Work now needs to begin on capitalising on the exposure Yorkshire received in order to boost tourism, says head of tourism network

A TOURISM body is hoping to tap into the German love of health vacations as it looks to build on the success of the Tour de France.

As businesses look to reap the benefits of the unparalleled global coverage Yorkshire received with the Grand Depart, one tourism expert is calling for businesses to break new ground for tourism in the UK.

Susan Briggs, director of the Dales Tourism Business Network, says now that people globally are aware of Yorkshire as a destination, work needs to begin on capitalising on that goodwill and awareness.

She said one way this could be done would be by catering to European demand for fresh air and healthy activities to improve their health and wellbeing.

“Welcome to Yorkshire shouted about Yorkshire," she said.

"Their job was to make people aware of Yorkshire. Our job now is to shout about the Yorkshire Dales, we have to fight for the market.

“We have opportunities for completely different kinds of tourism that Britain traditionally doesn’t attract."

Mrs Briggs said targeting cycling-related tourism alone would not help boost the local tourist economy, as they tended not to linger in the locations they passed through or spend much money.

But she added: “What has been achieved with the Tour de France is brilliant – absolutely brilliant – but it doesn’t necessarily mean lots of visitors. What we need to do now is very specific, focused work and give people a reason to come.

“For example, in some countries like Germany one of the big forms of tourism is wellness tourism, which is the idea of being healthy such getting exercise and fresh air by getting out and about.

“Those wellness tourists spent up to 130 per cent more, because they spend on premium products like good quality B&Bs and quality food and they pay to have the right experiences and extra activities.”

Recent research showed a third of the UK’s population had their opinions on Yorkshire positively changed after the Grand Depart, with 25 per cent of the country now wanting to visit.

Chief executive of Welcome to Yorkshire, Gary Verity, has hailed the Tour de France a “game changer” and said it has begun to tap into the potential the county has for becoming a global destination.

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