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Council spends £1,200 on travel blogger to promote one of Yorkshire’s most popular seaside towns

Scarborough Council has spent over £1,000 on a travel blogger to promote tourism in the seaside town of Whitby.

£1,245 plus £145 in expenses was paid to ‘You Could Travel’ blogger as part of a campaign by Scarborough Borough Council to attract tourists to Whitby, a YorkshireLive access to information request revealed.

“You Could Travel” was founded by Cory and G who describe their blog and website as wanting to improve people’s lives through “transformational travel experiences”.

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The pair were also nominated for the Blogger of the Year category of the TravMedia awards, with the winner to be announced in April.

Only one blog post on the website refers to Whitby and it advertised the town as a ‘postcard perfect’ British seaside destination and discussed everything from food to Whitby Abbey and the whale bone.

The blog post was published on February 3, but the social media posts appeared in December last year on the bloggers’ Facebook page.

At the time of writing, ‘You Could Travel’ has around 2,900 followers on Facebook, where they have three posts on the Yorkshire Posts.

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Discover Yorkshire Coast, which is partially run by Scarborough Borough Council, was tagged in the first of these which received five reactions, the post referring to Whitby explicitly received two likes and another which talked about Robin Hood Bay near Whitby received three likes.

On Twitter, the group has 12,800 followers where they retweeted the Discover Yorkshire Coast post linked to their blog post.

Discover Yorkshire Coast’s tweet received five likes and the only ‘You Could Travel’ retweet.

The posts did much better on Instagram than on other major social media sites where a photo gallery of their trip to Whitby garnered 1,158 likes.

The posts also drew numerous comments which described Whitby as “beautiful” and “incredible”.

Another post on the Yorkshire Coast gained 1,177 likes and received similar comments.

According to ‘You Could Travel’ they get 5 million website visitors a year, they say their audience is mostly young couples with an audience of 45% male and 55% female.

They also claim that the majority of their engagement comes from their website, with 80% of their traffic coming from online searches.

The majority of these readers come from the UK, US, Australia and Japan.

Scarborough Borough Council said the funding was good value for money: “We need to compete in a crowded market to attract visitors to our borough. These visitors are vital to our tourism-based economy, which supports 18,000 local jobs.

“As part of a campaign to promote the town of Whitby, our investment in a travel blogger and writer has resulted in coverage in two national newspapers and web articles that have been viewed hundreds of times .

“If only eight people stayed overnight in Whitby after seeing the newspaper stories, we got a return on our spend, so we’re quite happy that it’s good value for money.”

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