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Ambitious plans to bring one million extra visitors to Harrogate by 2020

Crescent Gardens Harrogate

Published by The Stray FM News Team at 12:39pm 13th March 2018. (Updated at 5:51am 14th March 2018)

Tourism bosses have been outlining their plans to bring more people to the district over the next three years.

Speaking at his first industry conference Visit Harrogate CEO, Richard Spencer, announced Visit Harrogate's ambitious strategies to grow the visitor economy by 5%

He also set out an ambition to increase visitor numbers to the district by one million over the next 3 years and by 2020.

If Harrogate and District performs in line with government growth expectations, the predicted value of its tourism industry by 2020 would be £634m, with a growth of over 1,100 jobs in the next three years.

Richard Spencer said:

"We have robust plans in place to support a thriving tourism industry.

Many businesses in the sector face challenges, austerity is a real threat.

"It's important not to be complacent, so we are working hard to increase profile and footfall, which is crucial for jobs and the local economy."

Visit Harrogate announced a raft of integrated brand led marketing campaigns and a renewed focus on PR campaigns for the district.

Recent achievements include travel features in in-flight magazines and major publications, including The Financial Times.

Its next campaign will focus on food and drink.

Festival Publications will launch a new Eat:Drink guide to the district with Visit Harrogate later this year.

The new handy guide to the best restaurants, pubs, cafes and producers is supported by headline sponsor and local brewer, Bad Co.

The guide will be available in print and online on the number one Google ranked destination website, visitharrogate.co.uk.

The destination marketing agency also said it will work more to support the event industry to bring new business to the district.

It is also examining the potential for a 'convention bureau for the district' and provide a package of support to business visitors and delegates.

Visit Harrogate also announced they will be the first UK Destination Marketing Agency to introduce a new technology from Canadian pioneers CrowdRiff to capture and harness the imaging power of social media platforms such as Instagram, Facebook and Twitter to add visitors own experiences and stories to their destination marketing channels.

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