York & North Yorkshire

York tourism: Overseas visitors 'unlikely to return soon'

View of York Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Foreign visitors are unlikely to return to the city in the short-term, tourism bosses believe

High-spending foreign tourists are unlikely to return to York in the immediate future, the city has been warned.

The regional tourism body was told major airlines were not looking to return to capacity on long-haul routes for a "considerable period".

A third of York's overseas visitors are from North America and China.

Welcome to Yorkshire said it intends to focus on attracting domestic visitors once lockdown restrictions end.

Henri Murison, director of the Northern Powerhouse Partnership, told Welcome to Yorkshire: "None of the European major carriers are anticipating that they're going to get to anywhere near normal capacity on their long-haul routes for a very considerable period of time and that, for our higher value visitors, I think is a significant issue."

To address the issue Welcome to Yorkshire is planning promotional work to attract domestic visitors post-lockdown, according to the Local Democracy Reporting Service.

Sean Bullick, managing director of Make It York, said discussions with businesses were already taking place to look at practical safety measures that needed to be implemented to ensure consumer confidence and get tourism moving again.

These would include measures to aid social distancing, monitoring crowd flows and installing hand washing and sanitation points.

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