Tourism in Yorkshire

Tourism in Yorkshire is an expanding business. The region has been popular for years with domestic visitors but there has been an increasing pattern of tourists from overseas being attracted into the county. Tourism is now worth in excess of 7 billion pounds to the Yorkshire economy which represents 7.2% of the county’s income. It employs 11% of the total work force with 243,000 people employed in it. The seaside resorts on the east coast has been attracting visitors for years. It is claimed that Scarborough is the oldest resort in Britain with the Spa attracting visitors from as early as 1660. The resort is the largest in Yorkshire with over 61,000 inhabitants.

The South Bay contains a sandy beach and is the most popular tourist area. It is the site of the old town with many cafés and amusement arcades to entertain the visitors. The North Bay area is quieter, but it does contain a miniature railway and attractive gardens. Scarborough is quite diverse and recently has attracted high tech industry into the area. This along with creative industries and its fishing fleet adds to the charm of the town.

The golden sands of South Bay

Nearby Whitby is not as big as Scarborough with only 13,000 residents. It is not a usual seaside resort due to its size and its wind-swept beach, but it does offer other attractions. It is an ideal location for day trips to the Yorkshire moors as it is on its door step. The bay is overlooked by the ruins of Whitby Abbey which make a wonderful place to visit especially when the sun is going down. It is also where Bram Stoker gained his inspiration for writing Dracula after staying in the town. Lastly Captain James Cook learned his seamanship from sailing out of the resort and there is a museum in the town in his name.

The nearby North Yorkshire Moors are one of two National Parks in the county, with the other being the Yorkshire Dales. They both give tourists the opportunity to visit the natural environment. The North Yorkshire Moors has heather moorland, valleys and coastline to enjoy. There are opportunities to walk, cycle or even get around by riding a horse. Within the park there are castles, abbeys and priories to be explored. There are many villages where refreshments can be purchased from local pubs.

Whitby Abbey overlooking the bay

The Yorkshire Dales offer similar entertainments, but the scenery can be a little more dramatic with the weather possibly becoming a little more severe. The scenery on the Dales is stunning as it gives a real feel of the wilderness of the area. As well as rural areas being popular tourist destinations the cities attract great numbers of visitors as well.  York’s rich history attracted 6.9 million visitors to the city spending 564 million pounds in 2015. The amount spent had increased by 25% in the last 5 years, and a quarter of the tourists were attracted from overseas.

The attraction of York is its gothic cathedral, cobbled streets and its unique architecture. York minster is always popular as is the National Railway Museum. York has its own popular shopping areas with high quality retail stores mixing with quirky cafes. Leeds in 2016 attracted 27.29 million tourists spending 1.6 million pounds. The numbers of tourists had increase by 5.3% from 2013. The reasons for visiting Leeds are different from those that make York attractive.

The hosting of the 2013 Rugby League World Cup brought in many visitors. The sporting venues in the city, such as Headingly for Cricket and Elland Road for football are attractions that annually attract visitors to the city. The shopping, arts and music has also attracted tourists into the city. Yorkshire as a county has a variety of attractions that cater for such diverse tastes. Tourism in recent years has provided much need income into the area that had been suffering a decline in its traditional industrial base.