Magical Christmas for Leeds thanks to seasonal campaign

Christmas 2014 saw an integrated approach between the private and public sector to maximise the potential of the UK�s key trading period. Led by Leeds and Partners and Leeds City Council, the campaign was designed to showcase the breadth and depth of the seasonal offer, including Christmas shopping, theatre breaks and cultural attractions in Leeds to drive footfall and spend in the city over the Christmas period.

The campaign was supported by VisitEngland�s Growing Tourism Locally campaign alongside a range of private sector partners, including Trinity Leeds, Bewleys Hotel Leeds, Northern Ballet, The Light and West Yorkshire Playhouse.

November 2014 saw the highest hotel occupancy levels in Leeds city centre across the year, 8% higher than any other month in 2014 (STR Global, 2014). Hotel room rates were also at a yearly high in November, which highlights boosted occupancy levels were generated via high quality bookings, rather than discounted rates, thus contributing further to Leeds� economy (STR Global, 2014). Visitors in the city over the festive period generated over �26million in estimated visitor spend in the city centre during November and December 2014.

Councillor Harper, Deputy Executive Member, Transport and the Economy at Leeds City Council, commented:

�We are delighted to present such outstanding results from the Magical Leeds campaign. This was the first year that the city came together with a joined up and highly engaging proposition. As a result, the city�s offer has been clear to residents and visitors alike, with the campaign featuring nationally and locally. The campaign has been fundamental in driving a successful Christmas period for the city.�

Seasonal city centre footfall also increased dramatically, with footfall over the last weekend in November seeing a 20% increase on last year. Footfall cameras from key city centre locations recorded footfall of well over 4.5million from 24 November � 14 December 2014, a 3% increase on the same period last year and an 8% increase on 2012�s figures, significantly bucking national trends, which saw an average decline of nearly 2%.

Kevin Duffy, Centre Manager of Trinity Leeds, lead sponsor of the Magical Leeds campaign, said:

�It was refreshing to see a collaborative and cohesive approach to Christmas across the city of Leeds in 2014/15 and the city footfall data, along with our own, points towards a successful campaign. There is a real opportunity for the city next year to push the Magical Leeds identity further and higher, delivering greater scale, cut-through and ultimately measurable commercial impact for all involved.�

Deborah Copeland, Marketing and Communications Director at Leeds and Partners, said:

�Magical Leeds was designed to appeal to a broad audience of visitors and residents and these results show the campaign clearly captured people�s imagination and inspired them to experience Leeds. We worked hard to create a proposition that added value to the bottom line for the private sector and the level of support, and over �240k in match funding, from hotels, visitor attractions and retailers, demonstrates we achieved that. From the hundreds of thousands of visitors to, to the bumper visitor numbers, Magical Leeds has delivered genuine value to the city and gives us a great platform on which to build.�

The Magical Leeds campaign was delivered as part of the VisitEngland led �Growing Tourism Locally� project funded by the Government�s Regional Growth Fund (RGF), and was run in partnership with local partners and sponsors, including headline sponsor Trinity Leeds and media partner Yorkshire Post and Yorkshire Evening Post. To date, the Leeds RGF activity, delivered by Leeds and Partners, has generated over �13million in incremental spend and 250 jobs since it began in October 2012.

James Berresford, Chief Executive of VisitEngland, commented:

�The Magical Leeds campaign results are another great example of the Growing Tourism Locally project continues to deliver fantastic results, to boost tourism and ultimately create jobs. Magical Leeds has been a standout campaign in terms of its innovative approach to securing match funding and its creative execution.�

For more information on the visitor offer in the city, please go to or follow us on Twitter @VisitLeeds, or