Yorkshire coast set to surprise audiences with year-round campaign to change perceptions

Discover Yorkshire Coast, the tourism body for Scarborough Borough Council, has today announced an exciting new initiative designed to showcase the region as a year-round destination and change perceptions through the art of surprise.

text: Discover Yorkshire Coast

© Credits: Discover Yorkshire Coast
Discover Yorkshire Coast

The new campaign, entitled – ‘The Place Full of Surprises’ has been created to promote those experiences available across the coast to new audiences whilst ensuring that current visitors are inspired to explore something new at different times of the year.

Janet Deacon, Scarborough Borough Council Tourism and Culture Manager and lead for Discover Yorkshire Coast, said:

“With people’s attention firmly fixed on the UK for their holiday destination for the short to medium term we have an opportunity to stand out and change perceptions at the same time.

“There is so much to do across the length and breadth of the Yorkshire coast throughout the year, where one day you take on an outdoor adventure, the next you find tranquillity and relaxation – and that is the ‘surprise’ that we are looking to share with audiences with our new campaign.”

Indeed, it is this ‘surprise’ element that will be key to repositioning the area that is often just seen as a traditional seaside holiday destination. Instead, the campaign will highlight a range of year-round offers from across the resorts that make up Discover Yorkshire Coast, including Scarborough, Whitby, Filey, Robin Hood’s Bay, Ravenscar and parts of the North York Moors National Park.

a person sitting on a boat in a body of water

© Discover Yorkshire Coast

The overall objective of the campaign is to generate more overnight stays throughout the destination, and to spread out the visits throughout the year.

The campaign themes include:

• Escape – where visitors will be invited to lose themselves and truly relax. Experiences will include spa retreats, long, peaceful walking routes and tranquil accommodation options.

• Explore – the Yorkshire coast has always been home to daring individuals who have exploration in their blood. With an extraordinary history to share audiences can explore the stories of adventures across the world that started in Yorkshire, as well taking in the stunning scenery on offer across the destination.

• Indulge – this theme is all about indulging in passions and if that includes some of the best culinary experiences available, then so be it!

• Dream – sleep is important, but with inspirational experiences on offer up and down the coast, you can escape into another world or even create your own just like great literary heroes of the past such as Bram Stoker and Lewis Carrol who created masterpieces whilst staying at the Yorkshire coast.

New audiences for a new market

The campaign, which aims to launch in spring 2021, will be targeted at two new audiences to educate and inspire them to visit the destination. These audience profiles include urban millennials, who are in their mid-20s to early 30s, and looking for an adventure closer to home. This could include getting outside on their bikes and exploring the vast open spaces or capturing the perfect shot for their Instagram at a remote coastal location.

Another key audience will be the multi-generational family and the opportunities to all stay together in one place but have activities on offer that will keep the whole group entertained.

Cllr Liz Colling, Scarborough Borough Council Cabinet Member for Inclusive Growth said:

“We are proud that the Yorkshire coast is a perennial destination of choice for many families every summer, but in these uncertain times we must work harder to diversify our offer and tempt new audiences to our beautiful borough.

“There are so many varied experiences on offer throughout the year, from must-see cultural events, such as Filey Food and Drink Festival, Whitby Regatta and shows at Scarborough Open Air Theatre in the summer, to relaxing autumnal getaways for couples or a multi-generational family half term exploring the beaches.

“By targeting new audiences to visit at different times of the year, and for longer, we can ensure the continued prosperity of our tourism industry into the future.”

Delivering surprise

This campaign, which forms part of Scarborough Borough Council’s recovery plan, will be delivered across all Discover Yorkshire Coast channels, including their new website, which launched in late 2020. It will be supported by a wide-ranging and targeted advertising campaign across the country, which will include a new aspirational video.

It is expected that the campaign will launch in April to support resort re-openings from May and will focus on driving bookings for late spring, late summer into autumn and winter.

Richard Marcroft, Chairman of the Yorkshire Coast Tourism Advisory Board, which is supporting the campaign, said:

“It is hoped that this campaign will bring all tourism sectors together to really showcase what the Yorkshire coast has to offer all year round. The diversity of what’s on offer across the Yorkshire coast and within the adjoining North York Moors National Park is second to none. It is imperative that we all come together to highlight this to the world to ensure we remain one of the most visited UK tourism destinations.”

There are opportunities for tourism and hospitality businesses to get involved in the campaign already, with a campaign strategy published on the Discover Yorkshire Coast industry site and a new toolkit developed for businesses to use to align their marketing activity with this soon to be long-running campaign.

For more information on the Surprise campaign, and to learn how your business can benefit from the marketing activity, two special online launch events are being held on Wednesday 7 April at 11.30am and 3.00pm. To book your free ticket please visit discoveryorkshirecoast.com/members/surprise

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