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Grassington town centre Wharfedale

Tourism in the Dales

Much of the work of the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority is linked to tourism and visitor management. The Authority provides car parks, toilets, runs five National Park Centres and maintains the rights of way network in the National Park. Visitors are attracted to this very special area and the money they spend is fundamental to the local economy.

Our vision 

“By 2040 The Yorkshire Dales National Park will be a friendly, open and welcoming place with outstanding opportunities to enjoy its special qualities.”

To achieve our vision we support tourism that looks to deliver exceptional visitor experiences that strengthen the socio-economic well-being of our communities and encourages enjoyment and respect of the area’s special qualities. This can only be achieved by working with tourism businesses, and other organisations, to ensure everyone understands what makes the environment of the National Park special, and how tourism can make a positive contribution to the economy and well-being of those who live and work here. Improving the quality, variety and marketing of tourism in the National Park is one of the objectives agreed by the Authority and a wide range of local partner organisations in the National Park Management Plan 2019-24.

Our current Tourism Strategy and a list of the “special qualities” of the National Park are available from our integrated access, recreation, visitor management, diversity and tourism strategy “Special Qualities, Special Experiences”.

The National Park’s tourism work programme includes: co-ordination of the Yorkshire Dales National Park Tourism Partnership, monitoring of tourism data and the provision of information for visitors to enable to plan their trip. The Authority’s Tourism Officer is the direct point of contact for tourism businesses and others involved in the visitor economy and is there to provide support and encourage the use of the special qualities while helping to address issues around seasonality, promoting products that are strong outside the main season such as dark skies, local seasonal produce and the celebrations market.

In this section you can find details of the range of support offered by the National Park Authority for tourism businesses, commissioned research to help you understand our visitors, who’s who in tourism and the organisations we work with, some case studies of local businesses with inspiring ideas, and the Distinctly Dales project which could help you market your business.