Visit Leeds survey reveals what visitors are most looking forward to doing as lockdown eases

Shopping in Leeds is the number one priority for locals and tourists visiting the city as lockdown eases, according to a new survey.

Monday, 12th April 2021, 10:34 am

People also can't wait to reacquaint themselves with restaurants and cultural attractions.

More than 2,900 adults were polled on their travel plans once restrictions have begun to ease by Visit Leeds which is run by Leeds City Council.

The results have helped the tourism organisation to plan ahead for those heading into the city over the coming months.

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Shoppers in Leeds ahead of the November lockdown (photo: PA)

When asked about the activities at the top of the agenda, 41 per cent said they couldn't wait to shop at Leeds’ huge number and range of retailers, from big name high street brands to luxury boutiques in the likes of the Victoria Quarter and the city's arcades.

More than a quarter of those surveyed said they wanted to visit the city’s numerous theatres, museums and galleries, while a further 25 per cent said they wanted to get back to the city’s restaurants, cafes and bars.

Visit Leeds' Belinda Eldrige said: “The results of our survey show that there is plenty of pent-up demand from potential visitors to the city, many of whom can’t wait to get back to the shops and restaurants they’ve sorely missed.

"It’s been five months since the city’s hospitality venues welcomed customers and three since non-essential retailers last opened their doors, so naturally, people are excited to make up for lost time.

“The survey has formed part of our drive to lead Leeds’ tourism recovery by enabling us to fully understand the plans and preferences of those planning to visit the city over the coming weeks and months."

Visit Leeds also has lots of content on its website which aims to make planning a visit as easy as possible.

Ms Eldridge added: “Ultimately, we want to help visitors, retailers, hospitality providers and those managing the city’s plethora of cultural attractions to embrace what is set to be an exciting spring and summer ahead.”

The results of the survey found that 38 per cent of people hope to travel in the UK as soon as lockdown restrictions have eased, while more than 40 per cent plan on travelling one to three months after restrictions have eased.

Seeing friends and family, going for a meal, and taking a city break were the activities people were most looking forward to, the survey showed.

The results also offered a boost to Leeds' hotels and accommodation sector, with 75 per cent of the respondents stating they would be on the hunt for a two to three night break.

Despite the vast majority aiming to travel soon after restrictions have eased, some remain much more cautious, with 6.3 per cent saying they do not plan to travel until restrictions have completely lifted.

Ms Eldridge added: “While we know there will be plenty of people who want their lives to go back to normal as quickly as possible, others will understandably be much more cautious in their approach.

“Our priority is ensuring that visitors and locals continue to feel safe when visiting Leeds, which is why we have published a detailed guide to how visitors can plan a safe and enjoyable trip to the city, as well as an A-Z guide which details the extra safety measures in place.

"The city’s businesses have worked extremely hard to install these measures in order to create Covid-safe environments and ultimately ensure visitors can enjoy everything the city has to offer in confidence.”

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