Escort agency 'sorry' for Hull tourism gaffe
THE owner of an escort agency has apologised "for stepping on toes" after it published a passage describing Hull attractions from a tourism agency's website.
Tourism chiefs accused Leeds-based Secret City Girls of "contaminating" Hull's image by stealing the idyllic description of the city and its attractions.
It emerged the passage, containing references to family-friendly crowd-pullers such as The Deep and St Stephen's shopping centre, had been taken from the website of Visit Hull and East Yorkshire (VHEY).
Last night, when contacted by the Mail, the un-named owner of Secret City Girls claimed he had been unaware the text had been lifted, but offered an apology to tourism chiefs.
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He said: "We will remove the section. We are sorry we appear to have stepped on toes."
An extract from the text stated: "This lovely corner of England boasts a cosmopolitan city, colourful seaside resorts, a jaw-dropping coastline and miles and miles of tranquil countryside.
"With so many great experiences and attractions just waiting to be explored – all at tremendous value for money prices – you can cram in so much more."
The words were displayed beneath images of 11 scantily dressed women and a bare-chested man.
The escort agency's website contains a section with the heading "outcall locations", which includes Hull, Bradford, Doncaster, Harrogate, York and Sheffield.
Other places included in the description were Hull Truck Theatre and the city's eight museums.
On the same web page, Secret City Girls listed Holiday Inn Express, Ibis Holiday Inn and Campanile hotels.
The website says "gentlemen need look no further for companionship or entertainment".
Councillor Terry Geraghty, Hull City Council's portfolio holder for leisure and tourism, said he would be bringing the matter up with colleagues.
He said: "I think it's disgusting. We do not want this sort of thing on our doorstep.
"We are trying to promote Hull as a family-friendly destination.
"Hull has recently been given the Purple Flag award, which recognises efforts by Hull City Council and its partners to promote the city's nightlife.
"It seems Secret City Girls is deliberately targeting tourism destinations.
"But we can't allow them to contaminate what we are doing in Hull to improve our image."
Jim Harris, manager of St Stephen's shopping centre in Hull city centre, said: "The paragraph detailing the description of Hull in which we are mentioned appeared to have been cut and pasted from the VHEY website.
"St Stephens treats this with the utter disdain we believe it deserves."
According to its website, Secret City Girls is "an exclusive Leeds escort agency, providing a premium service like no other".
A disclaimer is featured on the website, stating: "Secret City Girls Escorts do not offer any illegal or immoral services.
"All monies exchanged with an escort are for time and companionship only.
"Anything else that happens is a matter of personal choice between two or more adults of a legal age."
Customers are asked to call a number and use a debit or credit card to book an escort.