OTLEY has launched a major campaign to attract visitors as the country begins to open up after the third Covid-19 lockdown.

The market town is inviting visitors old and new to sample its fabulous outdoors, independent shops and authentic Yorkshire welcome.

The historic town that bridges cosmopolitan Leeds and the Yorkshire Dales has drawn up a marketing campaign for the remainder of 2021 that aims to tap into pent-up demand for travel by highlighting its unique attractions under the heading Only in Otley.

The campaign will focus on a wide range of attractions, including the expanses of the Otley Chevin, the banks of the tranquil River Wharfe, the town's history, and its wide range of shopping.

The campaign has kicked off with a Covid-recovery phase that will feature a series of videos highlighting various sectors as they reopen in line with the government roadmap to ease lockdown restrictions.

Supporting social media messaging will help promote the videos.

The first of these, viewable on both the Visit Otley Facebook page and the YouTube channel of the town’s tourism marketing agency Endure Communications, promotes local fitness, sports and leisure clubs and companies that are allowed to operate under the revised regulations.

Other videos to follow include the reopening of ‘essential non-essentials’ such as hairdressers, barbers and beauty salons, the April return to al fresco dining, and the reopening of live entertainment venues.

Each of the clips will be promoted on Visit Otley’s social media channels on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram as well as to local Facebook groups in both Otley, surrounding areas and the wider Leeds–Bradford region.

Other elements of the 2021 visitor engagement marketing strategy include funding of benchmarking to gauge the town’s progress and performance.

There will also be literature to attract new businesses and improve access for those with disabilities, improved signage, ongoing social media and public relations campaigns, support for the Visit Otley and Buy in Otley websites, a monthly podcast focusing on Otley characters and the much-loved annual Otley Christmas video.

Funding for the campaign comes from Otley and Yeadon ward Leeds city councillors, Otley Town Council and Otley Business Improvement District (Otley BID), with logistical support provided by Otley Town Partnership and Otley Chamber of Commerce – all of whom are stakeholders in Otley’s Town Coordination Committee that aims to increase visitor numbers and positive engagement.

Leeds City Councillor Sandy Lay (Lib Dem, Otley and Yeadon) said: “Along with my other colleagues in the Otley and Yeadon ward, we are pleased to be able to offer a significant amount of funding to help facilitate the various campaign elements. While we all need to be mindful of the ongoing issues surrounding the coronavirus crisis, it is also vitally important as the country emerges from lockdown that we encourage people to re-visit Otley in order to support the many businesses that have been challenged by lockdown restrictions.”

Chairman of Otley Town Council’s Trade and Tourism Committee Paul Carter (Lib Dem, Manor Ward) said: “We began the year with a Digital Otley campaign to ensure that Otley remained in people’s minds as a place to live, work and visit at a time when many people were excluded from doing so in person. This second, most important, stage sends out a strong message that Otley is reopening for wider business in line with government regulations and goes on to highlight Otley’s unique attractions. We look forward to cautiously welcoming people back into Otley as restrictions lift and in greater numbers later in the year.”

Chairman of Otley BID Tom Hatley added: “The past year has been a particularly challenging time for Otley’s businesses, one where both Otley BID and other local stakeholders have offered strong support to our members. We are pleased to be able to support these next steps in Otley’s reopening and look forward to a day when Otley’s high street returns to pre-pandemic levels.”

The marketing campaign will be overseen by Pool in Wharfedale-based Endure Communications with support from Menston’s MChar Media video production company and Otley’s Woolpack Studios.

#VisitOtley #BuyInOtley #OnlyInOtley