Hornblower first marks launch of tourist body

Hornblower George Pickles sounds his horn in Harrogate. (Picture  - Harrogate International Centre)
Hornblower George Pickles sounds his horn in Harrogate. (Picture - Harrogate International Centre)

An historic moment took place this week when the Ripon Hornblower blew his horn outside the city for the first time in centuries.

George Pickles was at the Visit Harrogate event taking place in the spa town where hundreds of businesses across the district were represented at the launch of a new group to bring tourists to the area.

Visit Harrogate, the district’s own destination management organisation, was officially launched at the Harrogate International Centre on Tuesday, July 30.

The aim of the project is to promote the Harrogate district, bringing more visitors to the area, encouraging them to stay longer – and spend more money in restaurants, hotels and at local businesses.

It was opened by Visit Harrogate chairman Peter McCormick OBE who told the gathering: “Our mission is to make sure that our visitors have the very best experience, stay longer and spend more while they are here.”

The strategy and development director of Visit England, Louise Stewart, described Visit Harrogate’s activity as “cutting edge” but warned other regions were upping their game.