YORK’S highly acclaimed production of The Railway Children will be heading south this summer as part of an ambitious plan to make Yorkshire the UK’s top visitor destination.
The show will take centre stage at the new Welcome to Yorkshire theatre in London’s Waterloo station and at the entrance will be an exhibition designed to showcase Yorkshire to the ten million people a month who use the station.
The move is one of a series of initiatives which were unveiled by tourism boss Gary Verity at the Y10 conference in Harrogate yesterday. Other steps include sponsoring TV show Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? and branding trains with promotional livery.
Mr Verity said the York Theatre Royal and National Railway Museum adaptation of Edith Nesbitt’s classic would be “the most exciting show in London since The Lion King” and said: “Yorkshire is all over it like a rash.”
Clare Mills, of the Royal York Hotel, joined Complete York tour guide Keith Mulhearn to launch the Yorkshire Pass, which is the first regional sightseeing pass in Britain and replaces the popular York Pass.
It will offer discounts to more than 50 attractions across the county.
Welcome to Yorkshire has already agreed to sponsor this year’s Ebor Festival at York Racecourse and Mr Verity announced more sponsorship deals, including the Scarborough Cricket Festival and the Mountain Bike World Cup, which will be held in Dalby Forest, near Pickering.
Mr Verity promised there would be more support for Yorkshire’s cities, businesses and rural areas and said he wanted the county to become the “region of choice for green tourism.”
He said: “At Y09 we launched Welcome to Yorkshire and made some big promises.
“Today we highlighted how we have fulfilled those promises and increased the number of visitors to the region.
“But we’re not resting on our laurels and have ambitious plans to do even better in 2010.
“Tourism is vitally important to the region’s economy and with over a quarter of a million people working in the tourism sector we are determined to do all we can to secure and hopefully, create more jobs.”
Other schemes announced at the conference include trains and planes branded with the Welcome to Yorkshire logo, similar to the ones adorning the hugely successful Hull and Humber clipper, which is currently flying the Yorkshire flag in the Round The World Yacht Race.
York Ebor Hospitality
Corporate Hospitality Group