To coincide with the Olympics, the organisation Visit England brought twelve international journalists to come and enjoy a day in our city.
Reflecting York’s recent 2011/2012 annual visitor survey results, five of the journalists who participated in the visit were from media outlets in China, a country which accounted for 6% of York’s overseas visits, double the proportion who visited in 2010. The Chinese media represented in York included the Beijing Morning Post, Zhengzhou Radio, Henan Daily, Hangzhou Daily and China National Radio.
Visit York also welcomed journalists from India Link International, Italy’s National Geographic and the USA’s Michigan Runner and USA ARThound. Fresh from the buzz of London 2012, the journalists arrived in York, after a short two hour train journey from the capital, to be greeted by Matthew Greenwood from Exploring York who led a walking tour of the city’s key landmarks.
After a traditional afternoon tea in Bettys Café Tea Rooms, the international media explored a host of attractions inside the city’s famous walls including York’s Medieval Town House’s ‘Hamlet to Hollywood’ exhibition at Barley Hall, York Minster and the Science and Innovation Grand Tour.
Speaking about the successful press trip, Visit York’s Head of Communications Kay Hyde, said, ‘During what is undoubtedly one of our country’s greatest moments in history, we were keen to capitalise on the unprecedented international media interest surrounding the Olympics. Thanks to our partners Visit England, East Coast and the city’s attractions, the press trip was a resounding success and we hope the positive messages about our great city continue to reverberate across the globe.’
Less than two hours from London, York now attracts over 1 million overseas visitors. Visit York has developed a full programme of activity to benefit from the Olympic Games. NBC – the official broadcaster in the USA for the Games has filmed in York twice and millions of their viewers have been watching footage of York this month. In addition Visit York has positioned large scale advertising posters at twenty of the London Underground’s most popular stations and the Olympic Torch in York was estimated to bring an additional £1 million of spend into the city over its two day visit.
Kay continued, ‘We are confident the legacy of the Olympic Games for Britain, London and York and Yorkshire will be very good in terms of profiling, image, reputation and repeat bookings, especially from overseas.’
Towards the end of their trip to York, the journalists also had the chance to check out the city’s newest attraction, York’s CHOCOLATE Story to find out more about the York’s rich chocolate making heritage.
The trip came during Visit York’s 25th anniversary year and in the same week the tourism agency released its 2011/2012 annual visitor survey results. Highlights from the survey include a rise in the number of overseas visits to York – 17% compared of all visits, compared to 12% in 2010 and an increase in visits from the USA, China and Australia – interestingly all key rivals in the Olympics medals table.
Of York’s overseas visits, the top three countries were USA (29%), Australia (15%) and China (6%).