Welcome to Yorkshire
Active fans / Audience, Brand awareness, Destination / Host City, Digital, Tourism


To increase awareness with foreign internationals as to the many appealing reasons for why they should choose to visit England’s largest county; To increase the number of American visitors to www.yorkshire.com; and to boost the level of foreign visitors to Yorkshire, all in turn aiming to improving the county’s tourism economy.


The results were powerful. Welcome to Yorkshire reported a dramatic 118% increase in US traffic to its website, and the region saw a £10 million first year increase in tourism spend, followed by a £16 million increase the following year. (2008: £33m, 2009: £43m, 2010: £59m.)


This was thought to be the first time any UK tourism agency in the UK had undertaken such a marketing campaign. At the 2012 World Travel Awards, Welcome to Yorkshire won Best Marketing Campaign for the second successive year.

To evaluate the direct success of its race sponsorship, Clipper Ventures PLC and Welcome to Yorkshire worked with eDigital Research to design an online consumer survey to determine how Welcome to Yorkshire’s brand awareness had increased throughout the race.

63% responded that the Clipper Race was the first time they had heard of Welcome to Yorkshire.

55% of those who saw a Clipper Race media feature on Welcome to Yorkshire were prompted to find out more about Welcome to Yorkshire’s involvement in the race.

97% of respondents were ‘likely’ or ‘extremely likely’ to promote Yorkshire as a destination, with 49% being ‘extremely likely.’

92% felt that an entry in the Clipper Race was a good way to promote Yorkshire as a destination and generate interest in the region across the globe.


Using the most iconic destinations of the race, Welcome to Yorkshire targeted the New York City stopover to leverage maximum impact for its sponsorship of the event.

This was a multi-layer campaign activation. First, the Welcome to Yorkshire TV commercial was launched at a high profile reception attended by the city’s top travel writers and journalists. This was followed up the next day when travel professionals were invited for an exclusive sailing day on board the Welcome to Yorkshire race entry, providing an opportunity for campaign managers to network with influential industry contacts in a unique and memorable manner.

Following the industry launch, the commercial was screened in 10,000 New York taxi cabs over a full month, providing huge exposure in one of the world’s busiest cities.

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Yorkshire has seen an increase in spend from £33 million in 2008 to £43 million in 2009 and £59 million the following year.

The trend continues; and although you might have thought that the term 'Yorkshire' was pretty well-known, initiatives such as entering the Clipper Race and bidding to bring the Tour de France to the boulevards of Leeds have kept up the pace.

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.

Exert from The Guardian Newspaper

Gary Verity, CEO, Welcome to Yorkshire