The Brontes may have created classic works of English literature long before the introduction of international air travel, but that hasn’t deterred Yorkshire residents from voting in favour of renaming Leeds Bradford Airport in their honour.
One in six (15 per cent) called to rename the region’s leading airport, Bronte Airport, in a survey involving more than 1,000 local people. Commissioned by Holiday Extras, the research follows recent reports that Birmingham Airport may be renamed Shakespeare’s Airport in the US in order to appeal to American holidaymakers.
Residents close to the UK’s major regional airports were provided the opportunity to cast their vote as to the local literary hero they would choose to raise their city’s international profile, alongside famous sons and daughters from a variety of fields.
The Bronte family, which hails from Haworth in West Yorkshire, achieved the number one position in the poll. The findings indicate the Brontes are the international icons residents believe to be the most persuasive to encourage overseas visitors to fly directly into the county.
Wallace and Gromit pipped playwright Alan Bennett and artist David Hockney to second place. The Wensleydale-loving cartoon characters, who have previously fronted campaigns on behalf of VisitEngland, were actually revealed to be the most popular choice for younger voters aged 18 -34, achieving nearly a quarter (23 per cent) of votes in this age group. Hockney, was the favourite for those aged 65 plus.
Other popular choices among a younger demographic include Bradford-born magician Dynamo, comedian Leigh Francis and a slightly scary appearance from former Spice Girl Mel B. Fellow musicians the Kaiser Chiefs maintained a loyal following among an older audience, aged 35 – 54.
Ant Clarke Cowell, Communications Director at Holiday Extras, commented: “While we’re not aware of any plans to change the name at Leeds Bradford Airport – British treasures such as Robin Hood and Shakespeare have been used to highlight other UK airports, so we decided to explore what famous personality local people would choose as their international icon.
”It’s amazing to see the Brontes are the number one choice for residents in Yorkshire. Their legacy is already a huge driver for tourism in the region and it’s great to see this recognised in this survey.”
Notes to editors
Results from a Holiday Extras survey of more than 1,000 members of the public in June 2015.