Constructive talks held on the future of Welcome to Yorkshire (WTY)

Options remain on the table for Welcome to Yorkshire’s future following an Extraordinary Board Meeting this afternoon.

Board members met to discuss WTY’s future following the serious challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Board discussed offers of financial support from local authorities across the region but says it needs further discussions with councils before a definitive option can be pursued.

As lockdown eases and the hospitality industry is due to begin reopening in July, WTY aims to put tourism at the heart of the region’s economic recovery.

Chair of WTY, Peter Box said: “There’s more work to do before we can agree a way ahead. We will continue to talk to council leaders about financial support and the options that flow from that. The response we’ve had from leaders over the past few weeks has been encouraging and we were able to have a constructive discussion at this afternoon’s Extraordinary Board Meeting. We will have further talks before we plot a way forward.

“I’m grateful for the support we’ve already had from council leaders, and others, across Yorkshire. If we are going to deliver a successful economic and social recovery from the pandemic, tourism will have to play a crucial role in that.

“Without a thriving tourism industry, there won’t be the kind of recovery we all want to see in Yorkshire.”

In response to today’s meeting being held in private, Welcome to Yorkshire can confirm their commitment to transparency and to continue to hold Board meetings in public. The meetings on the 22nd January and 21st February were open to the public. The meeting on 23rd March would have been held in public but was cancelled due to COVID-19.

The decision to hold today’s extraordinary meeting in private was based on the nature of matters discussed such as the options for the future of Welcome to Yorkshire. We did not feel this was something that could be held in public as we have a duty to inform the staff, paying members and other partners first.