Develop and promote new events, festivals and attractions based on the National Park’s special qualities and local distinctiveness so that at least 10% of visitors each year are coming for the first time.
How the local partners are doing on this objective
Progress: The annual Cheese Festival and Dark Skies Festival included 58 events – with visitors from all over the country. Results from the YDNPA Visitor survey 2022 found that 15% of the visitors interviewed were visiting the National Park for the first time.
Rationale: Without a continued influx of new visitors to the area, the visitor economy will decline. Surveys show that the proportion of new visitors each year has remained around 10% since 2002. However, the 2017 visitor survey figure was 14%, which is a significant increase. This may reflect the enhanced profile from the Tour de France, National Park boundary extension and TV coverage over recent years. It is, however, still some way behind the 20% average across all National Parks.
Lead partner: Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority;
Supporting partners: North Yorkshire Council; Westmorland & Furness Council; Welcome to Yorkshire; Cumbria Tourism; Settle-Carlisle Railway Development Company; Yorkshire Dales National Park Tourism Partnership;
Further information: YDNPA – What’s On
Cost over 5 years: £300,000
Funding shortfall: None
Ecosystem services: Recreation; A sense of place and inspiration
Trade-offs: Large events, festivals and attractions have the potential to have impacts on tranquillity (A2); priority habitats (C1) and species (C2). Management and mitigation of these will be guided by principles set out in the Special Qualities, Special Experience document, and the policies in the Yorkshire Dales Local Plan.
Baseline: 14% of visitors were first time visitors in 2017