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How ‘Welcome to Yorkshire’ tourism won over staycationers

How ‘Welcome to Yorkshire’ tourism won over staycationers

Background

Tourism in Yorkshire is worth £6.5 billion annually to the region’s economy and provides over 243,000 jobs.

Welcome to Yorkshire (WTY) is the official tourism body for Yorkshire,
working to grow the region's visitor economy.

They wanted to re-position the Yorkshire brand as a contemporary and vibrant region and improve revenue by increasing the length of stays and spend per visitor trip while driving traffic to the website.

Challenge

There were, however, two major challenges; Spring 2009 saw the UK in the throes of the worst recession for twenty years – endangering the short break market.

Secondly, we needed to encourage new, first time visitors while continuing to reach out to return visitors and not alienating them in any way. 

This dual audience was a new strategy for WTY to target both visitors to Yorkshire but also those who live within and in close proximity to the region.

Strategy

The big idea was born from the proposition ‘You can do more in Yorkshire’.

 A key truth lies in the fact that the locations of the major Yorkshire towns mean that a visitor can actually see more and do more in a short space of time than in any other region.

This proposition was executed in the line ‘A long weekend in Yorkshire isn’t long enough’ supported by ‘Get to know Y’.  By using these lines we were able to portray Yorkshire in a more innovative light for people to re-evaluate the region and improve perceptions.

To support the copy, each element of the campaign showcases the great diversity and accessibility of Yorkshire with a collage of vibrant and contemporary imagery.

Implementation

Yorkshire’s biggest ever integrated marketing campaign launched in Spring 2009.

Our core solution was to engage with as wide an audience as possible within key regions with an innovative and stand out creative campaign to drive them to yorkshire.com

To this end we developed a fully integrated campaign that allowed us to engage our audience across a number of touch-points throughout the customer journey that included TV, TV Sponsorship, Cinema, Press, OOH, Website, Digital Search and Display.

As the website is such a key element, it was vital that as well as being innovative and creating stand out, the proposition was clearly reflected in the site. These criteria led to the unique 3D ‘Y’ on the homepage using flash and film.

This radical new style is different to any other destination site – allowing us to instantly engage with the audience by presenting whatever appeals to them most, while showcasing the diversity of the region.

Results

Running for 11 months, the campaign has reached 93% of the UK ABC1 adults, equivalent to 16.3 million people.

• The TV ad reached 11 million people while 4.5 million people have seen billboards in London's mainline stations
• Press reached 9 million people equating to 52% of ABC1 Adults in the UK
• Cinema was viewed by over 3 million people, which exceeded the campaign target by 16%
The campaign has worked in conjunction with significant branding exposure for Welcome to Yorkshire in 2009, including sponsorship idents in Heartbeat and The Royal on ITV1.

Online, the campaign has attracted 2.3 million visits to the website since the launch in April.

Yorkshire has seen very positive results since the campaign’s launch in April 2009:

• Value of online bookings made through yorkshire.com almost doubled (up 96% on May-Aug 2008)
• A significant increase in visitor attraction numbers with 61%/62% of attraction businesses reporting an increase in admissions over the summer period
• In August, North Yorkshire, South Yorkshire and East Yorkshire reported higher proportions in visitors to attractions than in 2008, (72%, 70% and 75% relatively)
• Positively, a higher proportion of harder to reach first-time visitors were seen to be attracted to the region between May and August 2009 at 28% compared with 20% in 2008

Independent figures from the United Kingdom Tourism Survey (UKTS)
revealed that Yorkshire saw a 31% increase in the number of UK visitors choosing to summer holiday there in 2009 - more than any other region in the UK.

Gary Verity, Welcome to Yorkshire's Chief Executive said: "I'm over
the moon. This is an outstanding result. The Welcome to Yorkshire marketing campaign has paid off big time.”

AJR
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