Not many foreign internationals would be able to find Yorkshire on the world map, let alone be aware of the many pertinent reasons why they should visit England’s largest county as a tourist. That’s until the region decided to become a Team Partner in the Clipper 2009-10 Race.
Welcome to Yorkshire decided to use its stopover at New York City to leverage its sponsorship of the event and increase the number of American visitors to its site to boost the region’s tourist economy.
First it aired its TV commercial in New York at a high profile reception attended by the city’s top travel writers and journalists. Followed it up by inviting the delegates to sail on board the Yorkshire entry into the race the next day, and rounded it all off by airing its ad in 10,000 New York taxi cabs over a full month.
The results were staggering. Welcome to Yorkshire reported a dramatic 118% increase in USA traffic to its website. Interest converted into cold hard cash, with the region seeing an increase in tourism spend from £33 million in 2008 to £43 million in 2009 and climbed further to £59 million the following year.
Clipper Ventures PLC and Welcome to Yorkshire worked with eDigital Research to design an online consumer facing survey to determine how Welcome to Yorkshire’s brand awareness had increased through its participation in the Clipper 2011-12 Race. For 63% of the respondents, the Clipper Race was the first time they had heard of Welcome to Yorkshire. 55% of those who read/ saw a Clipper Race media feature about Welcome to Yorkshire were prompted to find out more about Welcome to Yorkshire’s involvement in the race. 97% of respondents are ‘likely’ to ‘extremely likely’ to promote Yorkshire as a destination with 49% being ‘extremely likely.’ 92% felt that an entry in the Clipper Race is a good way to promote Yorkshire as a destination and generate interest in the region across the globe.
“Yorkshire is a world class destination and deserves to be seen on a global stage. The Clipper Race was the perfect event to showcase Yorkshire in key global markets.”
Gary Verity, CEO, Welcome to Yorkshire