ONLINE signs are pointing towards Yorkshire’s tourism industry being well placed to recover from the COVID-19 lockdown.

Welcome to Yorkshire says data from its website suggests interest in visiting the county has ‘dramatically increased’ in recent weeks.

In May saw its traffic increase by 47 per cent compatred to April, with 91 per cent of visitors clicking on the website for the first time.

The traffic to its members’ listing pages also saw a jump of 45 per cent while direct links to member websites were up by 42 per cent.

The organisation - which is working on a tourism recovery plan under the banner Reopen, Recover and Rebuild - says its decision to rebrand its social media feeds, to focus more on industry specific news, has paid off too.

Welcome to Yorkshire Chief Executive James Mason said: “I have made no secret about the fact that we have so much digital potential going forward and this can provide valuable insight for the industry and key decision makers.

“We saw a big volume of organic impressions across our social accounts in April when lockdown really kicked in, reaching 4,108,503 accounts in April alone, up by 24 per cent compared to March.

“Our creative and digital team, in fact the whole organisation, has worked non-stop since COVID-19 struck.

“Our aim was to lead from the front with engaging, yet important, information for the industry. I think these statistics prove more than ever that Welcome to Yorkshire is a viable proposition, but more importantly has a huge part to play in the region’s recovery both as an economy and tourist destination.

“The suggestion is that the UK ‘staycation’ market is really set to boom.”

Welcome to Yorkshire has also seen a big increase in its social media engagement, via Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn, over the last six weeks.

Digital Director Pete Wilson said: “We have to be encouraged by visitor volume and engagement across all platforms and it is something we have worked hard to achieve.”

Digital marketing manager Tom Ashurst added: “Our change in Twitter address for the industry updates, from @wtymembership to @wtyindustry, was a subtle but important one. We have seen an increase in followers and interaction on the back of this which all bodes well for the future.”

Yorkshire’s tourism sector is worth £9 billion and employs almost 225,000 people.