Yorkshire seaside resorts ‘must go beyond bucket and spade’ to appeal to tourists


The arrival of the replica HMS Endeavor in Whitby in 2018 has been cited in a new report on How to Achieve Yorkshire Coastal Heritage. Photo: Danny Lawson / PA

Celebrating Our Distinctive Heritage, which was commissioned by the York and North Yorkshire LEP and Heritage England, said more could be done to celebrate the history and variety of the region’s coastline.

He says: “At the present time, the relatively narrow focus of the coastal economy is somewhat limited to itself and mainly focuses on day tourism.

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“Expanding the offer and attracting a wider range of visitors is important to broaden and deepen the added value as well as to extend the season.

“At present, the diversity of the coastal offer is perhaps underestimated, both by locals and visitors.

“These are far from homogeneous or one-dimensional places, and breaking down that misconception can be a challenge.

“The coastal area has some of the best landscapes and seascapes in England, and the quality of life it can offer is hard to match in more urban areas.

“Highlighting the region’s potential to provide a high-quality, flexible and profitable base for start-up businesses and homeworkers has tremendous potential to help diversify local economies. “

The report states that there is potential to create a “diverse and specialized tourist offer, for example through diving in natural heritage assets and the large number of important wreck sites that line the coast”.

He says what can be achieved has been demonstrated by the arrival of a replica of the ship that Captain James Cook used to sail to Australia and New Zealand arriving at Whitby in 2018.

The report states: “The power of event tourism has been well demonstrated, for example through the arrival of the replica of HMS Endeavor at Whitby – where it is now moored as an attraction – which has generated great interest and a significant increase in traffic. number of visitors.

“Creating links between attractions and critically engaging with the legacy of the region’s sailors has the potential to enable a range of events that can be linked to terrestrial heritage.

Likewise, Whitby’s experience as a destination for niche heritage interests, the large carrying capacity of Scarborough and Bridlington, and an ever-increasing high-quality food supply suggest that the region’s commercialization to Event organizers might have the potential to further diversify the economy.

He adds: “The booming ecotourism offer of the region’s seas has added an additional dimension to the visitor economy.

“There are clear opportunities to establish links with maritime heritage and to further expand the offer, establishing links between the natural and cultural heritage of our coastal settlements. “

The report also discusses the need to modify the use of historic buildings in coastal towns to ensure that they are suited to the needs of growing sectors of the economy.

“It is recognized that this is not necessarily a straightforward process for non-specialists and can seem intimidating – both for local owners looking for a viable future for their assets and for new business owners. looking for premises in which to settle, “he says.

“A strategic approach to understand the potential resources available and the problems and opportunities inherent in implementing such properties for key sectors would be a valuable intervention.

“This could then enable targeted support and advice, and potentially facilitate the development of exemplary public / community-led projects and access to funding sources. It may be necessary to consider improving port facilities to support diversification which should be managed sensitively to prevent erosion of historic character.

The offshore renewable energy industry “offers opportunities”

Yorkshire’s growing involvement in the offshore renewable energy sector may also provide opportunities to highlight what the region has to offer, the report suggests.

The region has the world’s largest wind farm located off Hornsea in the North Sea, with further expansion work planned. Hornsea One began supplying electricity to the national grid in 2019 and is located 75 miles off the Yorkshire coast in a location chosen due to its exposure to the wind.

The report states: “The region has already experienced substantial growth in the offshore renewable energy sector.

“There may be opportunities to apply the information gathered in the environmental impact assessment processes regarding these developments to draw attention to the vast marine archaeological resources off the region’s coastline.

“Likewise, the aquaculture sector holds great promise and could benefit significantly from the region’s growing reputation for seafood – and the availability of maritime skills from the fishing and offshore wind energy sectors. .

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