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Leeds - More attractive destination for tourists/foreigners

15061 Views 187 Replies 37 Participants Last post by  Fred2
I have noticed in the past few years how Leeds has really picked up ten fold in attracting foreigners and tourists. What would you put this down to?

Is Leeds recognised as an International City more now? It just suddenly seemed to change as I notice so many foreign languages just about everywhere I go. Personally I think it is great. More the merrier :)
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Perhaps it's down to the increasing number of international students at Leeds and Leeds Met Unis. The places to visit if you're an international student from outside the city seem to be the historic towns, Manchester ("so much to answer for"), Liverpool and London

If I'm honest, I don't think there's anything particularly outstanding in Leeds that could get international tourists falling over themselves to visit. Leeds Bridge is a site of real world significance and interest, but in world terms it's pretty underwhelming.

I read an interesting piece about Liverpool a year or two ago, in which the writer thought they should have turned themselves into a tourist town after the war, keeping its historic architecture and gradually scaling down industry. Because it was unaffected by ww2 bombing, I often wonder whether Leeds should have gone the same route, promoting places like Gott's Mill adjacent to what could have been the quintessential Victorian/Edwardian city centre.

Oh well, didn't happen. Maybe Bradford should have gone for tourism while Leeds remained the regional capital. Blah.
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I think you can fly to LBA as part of the Star Alliance (If you buy a round the world ticket, you can only go to cities that are part of the Star Alliance - this is how the majority of backpackers travel). This is a major boost.
Also I think Leeds is a good place to stay in Yorkshire due to the excellent(?) public transport links to all parts of the region. Tourists often rely on public transport - you can easily get to the Yorkshire Dales (big attraction), York, Bradford, North Yorks Moors, Pennines, whilst retaining the advantages of shopping/clubbing/restaurants etc.
I know about the student influx, I went to Leeds Met myself. I'm talking more about the families. There was a news story the other day about a large polish community building up in Yorkshire. I can vouch for that as I have seen quite a few families move in near me.

There are also a lot of other nationalities being represented. All i'm wondering is how come? Is it a push/advertising by the government to other european country's. It is certainly not a coincedence as too many have popped up lately.
Tourists and Foreginers

I think that there are alot of people coming to Leeds to university from other parts of the country and of course from overseas. However, if your here out of uni time, when most of the students have disappeared home, you find there are still alot of foreigners. Many of them of course have come here since the enlargement of the European Union,i.e. some of the countries of Eastern Europe and the Baltic States to take up work here.
The central location of Leeds should be promoted far more than is - its a great staging point for trips to Scotland, the North, London, the Lakes, & even Wales.
There aren't many other places that have so much within a 2hr train ride or a 3 hr car journey!
I agree that Leeds is centrally placed as there are destinations of great visitor potential in all directions. Just to name a few communities I've seen come here recently in large numbers.


We have already got a large Black (Jamaican, Caribbean etc) and Asian (Indian, Pakistani, Chinese etc) influence.

On a different note I think the london bombings have had something to do with it. The profile of the city has been raised worldwide but for the wrong reasons. It was all over the news for so long, I also tend to see Leeds in the national BBC news a lot more. High profile court cases being covered.
Its always been the case - Leeds is one of the High Courts in the country and as such serves the whole of the Yorkshire region - sometimes for the North of England depending on the sensitivity of the case.
I must agree that I have noticed a larger polish community over recent years...
There's a little polish supermarket in Wakefield now. I think the case with alot of EU immigrants is they first make their way to London, then head north after they realise the sheer cost of living there.

I have noticed tourists in leeds icnreasingly over the past few months, it realy should market itself more as a destination. It's smack bang in the centre of the country, and offers a fantastic base for tourists wishing to travel to other parts of the country.
You could have Poland town... like Leeds' china town and Bradford's Little Germany :)
You'd have to be a marketing genius to pass a dingy unit opposite the market selling pickled pigs trotters into little poland.

How appropriate:

Migrants 'boost the UK economy'
POLISH plumbers and other migrants from nations that joined the European Union last year have boosted the UK economy by keeping interest rates down, a report claimed today.
The Ernst & Young Item Club, which uses the Treasury's model of the economy for its forecasts, said the cost of borrowing would be five per cent instead of the current mark of 4.5 per cent without the arrival of people willing to work. It joins experts including Bank of England governor Mervyn King in concluding that immigration since 10 new countries joined the EU in May 2004 has been good for the UK economy.
According to the ITEM Club, migrants from countries such as Poland and Slovenia have plugged gaps in industries ranging from hospitality to catering.
Almost 300,000 immigrants have taken jobs in the UK in the past three years and have not isolated themselves to London, it found.
"Interest rates have stabilised at an historically low level and that has boosted consumer confidence and house prices," Mr Spencer said.
He noted that the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) of the Bank of England kept a close eye on house prices and they had been stronger than many members expected.
"Although the strength of the housing market has made the MPC reluctant to cut interest rates to stimulate demand, the buoyancy of house prices and transactions will support consumer spending," Mr Spencer added.
The ITEM Club also suggested exports began to outpace imports in 2005 for the first time in a decade.
l TELECOMS group BT said today that it believed a Government guarantee covered around three-quarters, or £28bn, of its pension scheme liabilities.
The former state monopoly also said its pension scheme actuary, Watson Wyatt, believed the existence of the guarantee would lower the amount BT would have to pay to Britain's new pension regulator for running a pension fund deficit.
Interest in the so-called "crown guarantee" has risen in recent weeks on speculation that it could encourage bidders, who might have been put off previously by BT's big pension deficit.
BT's last triennial valuation concluded the deficit was £2.1bn as of December 31, 2002.
24 April 2006
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JET2 will have added to the visitors. it was reported that 15% of passengers handled at Doncaster in the first year were foreign visitors to the region. Doncaster has handled 800,000 in its first year. I guess with 3m passengers flying into Leeds it would make sense to assume that a proportion of these are foreign.

There are a lot of foreign companies opening regional offices in Leeds and the surrounding area and this will account for some of the foreign voices heard.

I guess the final thing to consider is that the world is much smaller a place now and I guess that for all the British people exploring new places in Eastern Europe etc there must be as many (as a proportion) coming to see 'new' British cities.

I would disagree that Leeds has little to offer in terms of tourism. I would suggest that many people come to a city simply to visit it and see what is there. The cost of travel is now so low that Europeans can come to Leeds to experience the city in all the ways it has to offer and not just museums and theatre. Some of the shops most popular now with Europeans are the likes of Top Shop and DP. I would imagine that many people come in for the shopping and also the chance to use Leeds as a base for the countryside etc.
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I totally agree with the fact tht Leeds has a lot to offer in terms of Tourism. We just miss the one big landmark to associate with Leeds.

Found an interesting site:
Typhoo25 said:
I would disagree that Leeds has little to offer in terms of tourism. I would suggest that many people come to a city simply to visit it and see what is there.
Okay, i'm trying to be provocative, but surely we're a few years away from providing that kind of experience. Look at the Bond Street Centre and environs, Kirkgate, even most of the Headrow, realistically it needs several years of development before it's worth visiting.
The supermarket in Wakefield is it the one by the market? If so, I would actually brand it as more an Eastern European Supermarket. They sell items from all over the former Soviet Bloc including beer from the Ukraine, wine from Georgia, (which is fantastic) and various other Russian goods. Although I think there is still a big gap in their range for produce from elsewhere in Eastern Europe (but I guess they are only starting out). Also not many people who go in there seem to be English - (I guess that is my experience though)
di Livio said:
Okay, i'm trying to be provocative, but surely we're a few years away from providing that kind of experience. Look at the Bond Street Centre and environs, Kirkgate, even most of the Headrow, realistically it needs several years of development before it's worth visiting.

Personally I don't think you are being provocative. If I were a foreign tourist Leeds would be pretty low down my list of place to visit in the north of England, certainly below Liverpool, Manchester, York and even Newcastle, all 4 of which I believe have to more to offer culturally than Leeds. It is culture, history and sights that generally attract tourists and IMO Leeds is not that blessed when compared with other the other mentioned cities.

Ok Leeds has decent shops but not world class, you can’t imagine someone from France or Italy going shopping for a weekend in Leeds as we do when going to Milan or New York!

The city certainly has more to offer tourist than it did 15-20 years ago but IMO it still lags behind many other urban centres that it competes with economically in respect of overall what it can offer to the average foreign tourist.
The need to promote ourselves to the near continent

I would also suggest that we do not promote Leeds enough to the near continent. Leeds is on the M62 corridor, which is part of the Trans European Network, part of a landbridge between Continental Europe and Ireland. Taking the ferry from Rotterdam or Zeebrugge to Hull (the trip the other way round is well worth it if you want a shortbreak over a long weekend, Rotterdam especially if you wanna look at architecture - take a look at the city of Rotterdam on skyscrapercity) and a quick coach or rail transfer to Leeds is not that difficult. We could have more near neighbour lesuire visitors. The weakness though is there to see, if you take a look at P&O's Dutch website on suggested trips - Leeds is not mentioned - what's that about? link below,288077&_dad=portal&_schema=PORTAL&

I think we should protest to P&O get them to change the website and add Leeds on and improve connections to Leeds. Promote Leeds more into the feeder countries (i.e. Holland, Belgium, Germany and France). I don't think that Lincoln, sorry Lincoln, apart from the Cathedral has much? Shopping centre, is there one? Any national collections? (whoops i forgot th national motorcycle museum). Any fantastic stately homes? Close to any world heritage sites? Not really any further from Hull? So Marketing Leeds lets steel a march on Manchester on this and exploit the Yorkshire continental links. Leeds is the biggest city in Yorkshire and I'm not having a go at Sheffield before anybody starts......
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Simon 22 Comments

I think that's rubbish. So negative.
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