Shops shortlisted for £2m Yorkshire tourist campaign

Yorkshire tourism chiefs are shortlisting agencies to pitch for a £2 million assignment to attract more visitors to the county.

Agencies in London and the regions have been asked to respond to a brief with three shops likely to be chosen to make presentations.

The brief has been issued by the Yorkshire Tourist Board, whose existing £1.5 million annual spend is being augmented with extra funds from Yorkshire Forward, the county's regional development agency.

The through-the-line assignment, which is handled by Senior King, covers direct marketing activity and a TV campaign, which is set to break next year.

Senior King, which has held the business since the end of 1999, has been running national TV advertising featuring a number of Yorkshire-born celebrities, including Alan Titchmarsh, Mel B and Darren Gough promoting the county as "Britain's biggest break".

The TV initiative, the first ever by the YTB, was part of an effort to bring visitors back to Yorkshire after the devastation caused to its tourist industry by the foot-and-mouth epidemic. The Association of British Travel Agents has estimated that it could take up to four years for the UK tourist industry to recover from the crisis.

Yorkshire's aim has been to position itself as the UK's biggest destination for short breaks and day trips. It extends an ongoing campaign which has attempted to distance the county from the cliched images of cloth caps, pigeon-fanciers and brass bands.

The review process is being led by Theresa Lindsay, the head of marketing communications at Yorkshire Forward, a Government-appointed organisation which was set up in April 1999 to promote the economic regeneration of the Yorkshire and Humber region.

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