Page last updated at 07:37 GMT, Saturday, 25 June 2005 08:37 UK

Floods 'cripple' county's tourism

Floods in Thirsk, North Yorkshire
The storms struck suddenly on Sunday evening

Tourism chiefs in North Yorkshire say hundreds of thousands of pounds of business has been lost because of last week's floods.

Campsites, hotels and other attractions have had cancellations from people believing most of the area had been hit, a report says.

The BBC's Danny Savage says damage was confined to only a few villages in the Thirsk and Helmsley areas.

The tourist board is trying to reassure visitors it is "business as usual".

'Business as usual'

"By the early hours of Monday morning the flood waters had subsided," the BBC correspondent said.

"But it appears the reports have put off visitors, with one caravan park owner losing several hundred pounds worth of business within half an hour, despite being more than 20 miles from the flood-hit area."

Jenny Royle from the Yorkshire Tourist Board told BBC News: "We've had telephone calls asking us if it's still possible to get through to York and even calls in to a caravan site in Scarborough asking if they've been swept away.

"Tourism in North Yorkshire is worth about 1.6bn every year. I think it's important to remember we're talking about very small businesses here, businesses run by one or two people," she said.

The Environment Agency has announced it is to hold two flood surgeries in Thirsk and Helmsley this week to give people the chance to find out how and why the floods happened.

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