Visions and goals:-

–       Put Skipton firmly on the map re: toursim

–       Showcase all that Skipton has to offer compared to other towns in Britain, in terms of history, agriculture, accommodation, scenery, activities etc.

–       To make Skipton THE market town in the Dales & Yorkshire.  Skipton is unfortunately neglected due to its location and the tourist board division of Yorkshire ie. Harrogate and the Dales.

–       To bring more tourists to Skipton to enjoy all it has to offer.

The local authority has done a good job in encouraging coaches to bring day visitors to Skipton.  This certainly helps the market stall holders/cafes/fish and chips/retail outlets in the town centre, possibly the canal boat trips/castle, pubs and food outlets.  Not forgetting income from public toilets.

We have to encourage visitors to use our accommodation in Skipton ie. hotels, guest houses etc.  My intention is to encourage groups of people (organisations/associations etc. of which there are 3000+) to come to Skipton and stay for as long as possible.  We hope to average at least 10 people per day over a year, which will bring in approx. 3,650 who stay for an average of 3 days.  It isn’t rocket science to imagine that if these 3,650 people (who will obviously go into town as part of their stay) have an interesting and pleasant experience, they will go home and tell others about their visit to Skipton.  Due to the vast numbers of usp’s about Skipton and its surrounding area, a lot of these people will no doubt return and simultaneously encourage (by singing the praises of Skipton) new faces to our unique town.  These new faces will look at our web site for accommodation in Skipton and decide whether to choose a hotel/guest house/pub/caravan park which fits their budget.

The key to the success of this initiative is to make sure that our visitors have a pleasant and unique experience when using Skipton as a base.  Hospitality being the name of the game, coupled with value for money – one rip off merchant can do a lot of damage.

Joining the ‘National campaign for courtesy society’ of which I am a member wouldn’t be a bad thing to encourage retailers to join and display in their windows and of course, abide by their criteria.

I see group travel as being one way of giving ‘Destination Skipton’ a kick start for accommodation providers and simultaneously increase the business already in place for the day coach visitors.

There is a possibility for all retailers/accommodation providers/attractions etc. to be allowed to display ‘Don’t Skip Skipton!’ courtesy badge on their premises – providing these pass the local authority approval of courtesy.

The Rendezvous has hired a small stand at the group travel leisure exhibition in Birmingham on 21st/22nd September.  We would be delighted to display literature and any attractive/unique advertising materials, which will hopefully encourage people to visit Skipton.

Examples of the potential for group travel

By way of example, week commencing 18/4/11 we had a luncheon for 38 retired employees of a High Street chain store.  They were so happy with the surroundings and the hospitality that 6 ladies including the organiser asked for information to come back privately for an overnight stay.  My guess is that we will get at least 10 with husbands, or friends, returning for a minimum 2 day break.

On Tuesday evening 19th April, a lady representing the Yorkshire Country Women’s Association and a friend took advantage of our free offer of dinner, bed and breakfast for two.  On departure on Wednesday morning, she went away with a taste of ‘Destination Skipton’ literature.  Within the next few days, she will be receiving from us hard copy of our stage 2 literature, which she will then distribute to 116 Yorkshire branches (North/East and West Ridings).  Hopefully, they will come back in groups (or individually) to Skipton.  She caught the bus into town and back on Wednesday (leaving her car at the hotel) and even went on a canal cruise, she will certainly be back as she and her friend thoroughly enjoyed their visit.

These are examples of what group travel can do for Skipton in 2 days!

–       Overseas visitors

–       America (Chicago) send Destination Skipton literature to Linda

–       Japan (First Attempt)

–       Chinese – Peter Hancock (reference Caterer article attached).