The number of cyclists visiting the county from other parts of the UK looks set to be boosted in 2021 after Welcome to Yorkshire secured a second round of funding from VisitEngland to grow its Cycle England project.
The funding will be used to build on ongoing activities and product development, and launch a digital marketing campaign aimed at cyclists across the UK. Improvements will also be made to the Cycle England website – www.cycle-england.co.uk – making it easier to customise and book cycling holidays across the county.
Welcome to Yorkshire joined forces with Visit Lincolnshire to launch Cycle England in 2018 with the initial aim of developing cycling holidays for the Dutch and German markets.
The project got off to a strong start with 21 holidays being made available across 12 international tour operators before the COVID-19 pandemic put a halt on all but essential foreign travel.
With those restrictions in place, the project shifted focus to the domestic market, which has seen a huge rise in cycling activity since the UK first went into lockdown last March.
Cumbria Tourism and Visit Northumberland have also joined the initiative to coincide with this second round of funding, with more developments set to be announced in the coming months.
Welcome to Yorkshire Chief Executive James Mason said: “The Cycle England project has got off to a great start and this VisitEngland funding will allow it to go from strength to strength.
“The world has changed a lot since the start of the year and that’s why we’ve been adaptable with our Cycle England offer, switching focus to the domestic market for the immediate future to entice cyclists from other parts of the country to give our world-class roads and trails a go, when we do eventually emerge from this hugely challenging period.
“Obviously, we want foreign cycling tourists to keep Yorkshire on their bucket lists as well, and this funding will allow us to develop a product which makes it easier than ever to plan, tailor and book cycling holidays here, no matter where our visitors are from.”
The Cycle England team have wasted no time in putting the funding to use, and next week will take part in the prestigious World Travel Market and Cycle Summit events to sell Yorkshire to the world and strengthen relations with key personnel in the cycle tourism industry.
VisitEngland Director Andrew Stokes said: “This funding will help keep England's tourism products and experiences front-of-mind for domestic and international travellers and support local businesses who have been working so hard to welcome visitors back safely, adapting and innovating to meet new ways of working and still providing a great visitor experience.
“Now in its fifth year the Discover England Fund is all about embedding our fantastic tourism products and reaching new audiences to drive future visitor growth and boost local economies."