Visitors to Leeds this summer will be given added incentive to experience everything that the city has to offer with the launch of a new campaign, run by a partnership between Visit Leeds and Leeds Hotels and Venues Association (LHVA), that offers an extra night at one of the city’s leading hotels completely free of charge.
The Be Our Guest campaign, which is part of Leeds City Council’s wider activity to welcome visitors back to the city and its surrounding areas post-lockdown, will see two of the city’s leading tourism organisations – Leeds’ official Destination Management Organisation (DMO) and LHVA – offer a three night stay for the price of two at 12 leading hotels across Leeds as the city welcomes visitors back for a city-break vacation following the relaxation of lockdown measures.
By shining a spotlight on the city and its extensive array of attractions, events and experiences, both Be Our Guest and wider council initiatives will focus on supporting Leeds’ unrivalled combination of amazing food and drink, inspiring culture, museums and galleries, family-friendly activities and independent spirit.
Leeds’ tourism and hospitality industry plays a crucial role in the city’s economy, and has had to face many challenges over the pandemic, as have the city’s wealth of attractions and cultural venues. The Be Our Guest campaign is a key initiative which is pivotal to Leeds City Council and Visit Leeds’ commitment to supporting these organisations as part of the city’s visitor economy recovery.
The campaign will run throughout the summer until Thursday 2nd September, with visitors able to secure an extra night’s stay free of charge when they book a visit between Sunday and Thursday. Boasting a line-up of hotels to match any budget, the campaign is as well suited to friends and couples eager to experience the city’s thriving cafés, bars and restaurants as it is to families looking to reconnect and explore Leeds’ museums, galleries, theatres and walking trails.
According to the recent tourism survey carried out by Visit Leeds, the city’s DMO found that 75% of all respondents are on the hunt for a two to three night break, with a quarter of visitors eager to reacquaint themselves with the city’s well known food and drink scene.
Nearly half (41%) stated that they can’t wait to shop at Leeds’ unrivalled breadth of retailers, which range from well-known high street stores to iconic luxury brands, making Leeds a place of true recognition as we step out of lockdown. The Be Our Guest initiative has been created in response to the growing demand for tourists visiting the city of Leeds, and will aim to offer a budget-friendly solution over the summer period.
Councillor Jonathan Pryor, Deputy Leader and Leeds City Council’s executive member for economy, culture and education said:
“The city’s Be Our Guest campaign provides the perfect opportunity for visitors to Leeds to experience the city at its best, whilst also supporting our ambitions as a leading city break destination. The leisure and hospitality sector in Leeds has worked hard to create environments for visitors to feel safe and secure by following government guidelines.
“It’s great to see this collaboration between Visit Leeds and LHVA, which will contribute to the economic recovery of Leeds as restrictions start to ease. Leeds is a resilient city and I am confident we will emerge from the pandemic stronger, which will benefit everyone who lives and visits here.
“We hope that our Be Our Guest campaign can enhance Leeds’ status as the perfect destination for a staycation, and are encouraging visitors to take advantage of this great offer by staying longer to explore Leeds and experience the vibrant spirit of our city.”
Championing Leeds’ independent spirit, the first 100 bookings will get to experience a taste of Leeds with a hamper made up of local produce to welcome you to Leeds. What’s more, Leeds City Council is also supporting Eat Leeds, which sees the best restaurants across the city offer multiple discounts and savings over the summer period.
Wayne Topley, Chair of Leeds Hotels & Venues Association (LHVA) said:
“It has been a punishing year for the hospitality industry and we are keen to get up and running once more, doing what we do, creating a comfortable, safe and welcoming environment for our guests and colleagues alike.
“Initiatives such as Be Our Guest provide the perfect platform for us to showcase what we are really good at, both in terms of positive collaboration, and highlighting the sights, sounds and flavours of this great city.
“Uncertainty around international travel, whilst disappointing for many, provides us with a fantastic opportunity to welcome visitors back to our city centres and show them what we can do. LHVA is proud to be part of this campaign, and we will be supporting this initiative and many more throughout the year to show foodies, families, culture and sports fans what we have to offer to provide them with the perfect stay.
“It is fantastic to see the city pulling together to show all that is truly great about Leeds. To my knowledge this is the most coordinated campaign we have seen for many years. As honeypot locations become busier and busier, it is great that we can offer wide open spaces, a range of cultural and family experiences and more importantly a great backdrop for any leisure break.”
Visit Leeds and LHVA have compiled their top list of things to do in Leeds when visiting the city this summer:
1. Spot a few feathery friends on a trail around Leeds: One of the most unique ways to get around is the Leeds Owl Trail, which winds its way through the city whilst spotting 25 feathery friends roosting up in the rafters of Leeds’ diverse and historic architecture – an excellent way to spend an afternoon getting some fresh air with all the family.
2. Uncover the incredible history of medicine: In a city well served by intriguing museums and galleries, Thackray Museum of Medicine stands out as a place like no other. Housed in a Grade-II listed former workhouse, the recently refurbished museum tells the tale of health and medicine from the grimy streets of Victorian Leeds, through to the medical innovations of the 20th century and beyond. There are grisly details and astounding stories to uncover throughout, with something for all ages to enjoy.
3. Take to the pavements for record-breaking street art: If the idea of a traditional art gallery doesn’t quite do it for you, then Leeds’ street art scene has exactly what you need. A good place to start is Athena Rising, the UK’s tallest street art piece, which towers over New Station Street reaching a height that tops the Statue of Liberty. Then there’s artist Anthony Burrill’s new piece, You & Me, Me & You, on the banks of the River Aire. Find them all, and more, on the Leeds Street Art Trail.
4. Find yourself minutes away from the world’s most stunning countryside: We might be a little biased, but the Yorkshire Dales might just rival anywhere on the planet for their majestic beauty. And it’s right on our doorstep. In a little over half an hour, you could be climbing the heights of Otley Chevin, roaming on Ilkley Moor, or taking to two wheels to recreate the drama of the Tour de France. It’s one of the nation’s true outdoor treasures, and a National Park that’s not to be missed.
5. Eat Michelin-recommended food in a Victorian covered market: You might expect Europe’s largest covered market, Leeds Market, to be the place to go for your weekly shop. But you can also sit down for a Michelin-recommended gourmet meal at The Owl, the sister restaurant of celebrated fine dining destination Home. Truly exceptional cooking which, unsurprisingly given its location, goes big on great British produce.
To book your place and find out more information, please visit: www.visitleeds.co.uk
To find out more about what there is to do and see in Leeds, head over to www.visitleeds.co.uk