Mix of music, bikes and exhibits lead to city’s £656m tourism haul

The crowd enjoy Bingley Music Live 2017
The crowd enjoy Bingley Music Live 2017
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A BOOST in day trippers and overseas visitors saw tourism in Bradford hit £656m in 2016, new figures have revealed.

A report by Bradford Council showed a 10 per cent increase in spending by visitors, with an estimated 2.25m visitor nights spent in the district in 2016 as well as approximately 11.6m day trips.

There are now more than 13,500 tourism jobs in the district, an increase of four per cent from 2015.

Bradford Council’s executive member for environment, sport and culture, Coun Sarah Ferriby, said: “We’ve hosted some amazing events in the district in recent years including Bingley Music Live, the Bradford Festival, the Tour de France Grand Depart and the Tour de Yorkshire as well as Illuminate Bradford, that have all brought visitors to the district and shown what we have to offer.

“The recent opening of new city centre bars and restaurants, especially those in the Sunbridge Wells development, has seen an increase in visitors to the city centre. We’ve some excellent museums and galleries showing world class exhibitions including the newly opened permanent Hockney Gallery at Cartwright Hall, and our venues including the much loved Alhambra Theatre, put on spectacular shows and concerts.”

Visitor and business development manager at Bradford Council, Patricia Tillotson, said the figures were “really positive”, and 2018 was set to be “another great year”.

“Bradford was the first UNESCO City of Film and Saltaire is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, we are also the Curry Capital of Britain,” she said. “We have lots of free attractions and museums including the excellent National Science and Media Museum and the fantastic rural landscape of the district, which is a paradise for walkers and cyclists.

“With more regeneration in the city centre, and a programme of cultural and creative events taking place across that the district including the British Science Festival, Bradford Literature Festival, and events to celebrate bicentenary of the birth of Emily Bronte, as well as Tour de Yorkshire once again showcasing our district, 2018 looks set to be another great year to visit Bradford.”