A coach campaign launched by Visit Hull & East Yorkshire (VHEY) to attract visitors to Beverley will be extended for another 12 months after helping raise the profile of the town and increase bookings by 30%.
The campaign was a finalist in two categories, Coach Tourism Innovation and Coach Friendly Destination, at the National Coach Tourism Awards 2016 and was praised by judges.
Hoping to attract even more visitors in 2017, the campaign was promoted at the Group Leisure and Travel Show at the NEC in Birmingham in October.
Councillor Jane Evison, cabinet portfolio holder for economic investment and tourism at East Riding of Yorkshire Council, said;
“Tourism plays a vital role in the local economy and this council, working through VHEY, aims to provide a quality tourism offer that increases visitor numbers to the area.
“Since its launch in 2015, the campaign has been really successful. As well as increasing visitor numbers to Beverley it also provides us with important customer feedback to continue providing the best possible visitor experience.
“With Hull UK City of Culture 2017 taking place next year, we are confident that the campaign will help us capitalise on the increased visitor numbers to East Yorkshire and allow more people to discover Beverley.”
The campaign allows coach operators to book trips to the town in advance via the VHEY website, with each booking providing a comprehensive visitor package that includes:
• free parking in a dedicated car park
• a meet and greet service
• welcome bags for passengers that include a discount vouchers booklet with savings in shops, cafes and restaurants, a Beverley guide, a Beverley Map, a pen and postcard
• driver welcome bag, which includes an £8 meal voucher to be redeemed in a participating venue, a drinking beaker, a key ring and a pen
• an opportunity for arranged tours or guided walks
• facility to pre-book group coffee breaks or lunches.
The campaign is valid Monday to Friday, excluding Bank Holidays, special events and Beverley Race Days.
Shelley Arnold, a tour manager for Newmarket Holiday, praised the initiative saying:
“You provided the best support I have experienced as a tour manager. You made it so easy for me, my driver and passengers to make the most of our visit to Beverley.
“You provided excellent welcome packs, with vouchers offering discount in various shops and restaurants. We have never received such packs anywhere and I do visit many places during the year.
“You also arranged parking for my driver and offered him a voucher for lunch, plus an enhanced welcome pack. You gave us all useful information and directions. As our visit was only about three hours this meant everyone could make use of their time in the town.”
In preparation for the upcoming Beverley Festival of Christmas, on Sunday, 11 December, welcome packs will be provided to every coach driver on the day.
When this ran last year, the packs were really well received and around 50 coach drivers will benefit again this year, showing that Beverley really is a coach friendly destination.