Profile of Yorkshire 'has never been higher'

A PUBLICITY drive to attract more visitors to Yorkshire has beaten some of the biggest global brands to be named the world's leading marketing campaign.

Welcome to Yorkshire picked up the accolade at the World Travel Awards ceremony which was held in London last night.

The tourism organisation's "A long weekend in Yorkshire" campaign triumphed against rival entries from the Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority, Etihad Airways and the Johannesburg Tourism Company.

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Other entries in the World's Leading Marketing Campaign category included the Swiss-based luxury holiday operator, Kuoni Group, Qatar Airways and Visit Scotland.

Welcome to Yorkshire's chief executive Gary Verity said: "Winning this award crowns an incredible 18 months for tourism in Yorkshire. We have promoted Yorkshire's unique and diverse attractions across the county, across the UK and across the world and the response has been phenomenal.

"Visitor numbers to Yorkshire are up, interest in our county is up and the profile of Yorkshire as a tourism destination has never been higher."

The marketing campaign featured on national TV, in cinemas and on the internet. It highlighted the eclectic range of activities and attractions on offer in the region including the famous countryside such as Sutton Bank, clubs, shops and sporting venues with the strap-line "A long weekend in Yorkshire isn't long enough".

The award comes in the wake of a record-breaking 18 months for the region, with visitor numbers up by 22 per cent compared to a 12 per cent increase in the UK.

Tourism is worth 6.5bn each year to Yorkshire's economy, with 209m visits annually to the region. The industry employs almost 250,000 people in Yorkshire.