North York Moors

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Trailways on the Cinder Track Credit Tony BartholomewTrailways on the Cinder Track Credit Tony Bartholomew

Tourism is vital to the North York Moors National Park. We currently have 8.38 million visitors annually, generating spend of £730m and supporting 11,290 full time equivalent jobs.

Half of our visitors say that National Park status is an important influence in their decision to visit. However, it’s essential that visitors don’t undermine the very things that attract them in the first place – the unspoilt scenery, peace and tranquillity, nature and wildlife.

The National Park Authority recognises the significant role that tourism plays in the economy of the area and we're keen to work with local businesses to encourage visitors to stay longer and spend more, sustainably, while raising the profile of the North York Moors.

Tourism facts and figures

Each year, we commission Global Tourism Solutions (UK) Ltd. to estimate the economic impact of tourism in the National Park and surrounding area of influence, through the use of STEAM (Scarborough Tourism Economic Activity Monitor).

STEAM uses locally-derived data from a variety of sources including tourist information centres, visitor attractions and events, accommodation bedstocks and occupancy rates. Data is analysed to produce estimates of the number of visitors, visitor days, employment supported by tourism, and revenue generated.

It is not designed to provide a precise and accurate measurement of tourism in a local area, but rather to provide an indicative base for monitoring trends. The confidence level of the model is calculated to be within the ranges of plus or minus 10% in respect of the yearly outputs and plus or minus 5% in respect of trend. Through the STEAM model, we are able to look at the underlying trend stretching back to 1992.

Download the summary infographic report for 2019, outlining tourism trends for the National Park and its Influence Area.

Please note when interpreting 2019 STEAM data

Over the last few years we have been improving the quality of the data feeding into the STEAM model to make it more accurate. However the changes in the accommodation bedstock used in the model have resulted in a significant alteration in the split between serviced and non-serviced occupancy, with occupancy levels adjusted downwards and upwards respectively. This adjustment has been made for all years from 2016 to 2019 but not for previous years. The day visitor seasonality has also been adjusted so as to conform more closely with new data from visitor attractions.

You can also access a wealth of information on visitors to England via VisitBritain’s Research Insights.

North York Moors National Park annual visitor survey

Excerpt from infographicSince 2017, we have been undertaking year-long visitor surveys to help understand what motivates people to visit the area, where they come from, where they stay, how they get here, what they do and what they like and don’t like about the North York Moors. We use the results to help with our campaign planning and other development work.

We’ve produced a summary infographic showing some of the key facts and figures for 2017 and 2018 to help inform your own marketing decisions.

North York Moors National Park Visitor Survey 2016

North York Moors National Park Visitor Survey summary infographicDuring 2016 we surveyed 649 visitors to the North York Moors National Park. The survey is carried out every five years and provides information on:

  • Visitor demographics and what they do here
  • Motivations to visit
  • Visitors’ awareness and perceptions of the National Park
  • Visitor satisfaction

We’ve produced a summary infographic (PDF – 2.1MB) showing some of the key facts and figures, as well as a full report presentation with more details and analysis.

Support for tourism businesses

Grants and funded projects/initiatives

We operate a number of tourism grant schemes which businesses can apply for offering funding of up to £10,000.

Find out more about our North York Moors Rural Coastal Community Team

We also regularly apply for and deliver externally-grant funded projects.

Past projects

Accommodation panel - more businesses wanted

Over 150 accommodation providers in the area are members of our Accommodation Panel set up to provide more accurate data on the performance of the tourism economy, in turn helping us with our strategic planning of marketing campaigns and events. Panel members enter room occupancy data which is aggregated and measured over several years to identify long-term trends. Participating businesses receive a benchmarking report.

Our panel is an ongoing project, so businesses can join anytime. Being a member is free of charge and you will benefit from up-to-date information about visitor trends, which can help you grow your business. The panel is managed by our research agency Emotional Logic. Find out more or call 0800 334 5359.

Networking, advice and other resources

You can benefit from events and workshops run throughout the year aimed at those operating in the visitor economy. These give an opportunity for networking and to meet other businesses in the area.

We run these in partnership with the North York Moors Tourism Network, a network managed on a voluntary basis by Susan Briggs, Director of The Tourism Network Ltd. It's very informal, with no charge to join, and it's designed to benefit those businesses who wish to capitalise on their location in/near the North York Moors National Park and Howardian Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

Once you’ve signed up, you’ll find out about upcoming events, get access to a number of resources, such as marketing and insider’s guides, films and our library of free professional images, which you can use on your website or promotional materials.

You may wish to find out more and sign up to one (or more) of our popular initiatives to become Cycling, Dark Skies, Nature or Walking friendly.

Businesses located in Ryedale District Council can also benefit from further resources including copyright free images and relevant research.


Catriona McLees, Head of Marketing & Communications
T: 01439 772700