Cycling, food and overseas visitors have all contributed to a huge increase in tourism in Yorkshire since 2011.
Stunning figures unveiled at the Welcome to Yorkshire Y18 conference in Bradford today reveal that visitors poured an extra £1billion into the county’s coffers between 2011 and 2016 - a 14 per cent increase in five years.
The industry is now worth £8billion, and there has been an 11 per cent rise in overseas visitors over the same period. International tourists spent £516million in the region.
Crucially, the period includes the arrival of the Tour de France Grand Depart in 2014 - an event which kickstarted a huge boom in cycling tourism in areas which were part of the route.
Thousands of delegates gathered at the Alhambra Theatre in Bradford to hear about a range of plans to entice yet more visitors to Yorkshire. They include:- - £5million will be spent over 10 years to promote the North York Moors National Park. An advertising campaign will involve cinema and TV commercials as well as targeted ads in magazines such as Cycling Weekly, Marie Claire and Woman and Home.
- £1million has been pledged by Visit England’s Discover England fund to promote Yorkshire as a cycling destination to audiences in Germany and the Netherlands.
- Bradford Council has launched a campaign to promote the city’s food and drink scene, featuring trails, offers and partnerships with bloggers.
- Bradford was also announced as a host city for start of the UCI World Road Cycling Championships in 2019.
- The Cycle Expo Yorkshire will take place in Harrogate in October, and 20,000 visitors are expected. Sir Gary Verity, chief executive of Welcome to Yorkshire said:
‘What an epic event it has been, I couldn’t have wished for a better day for our 10th conference. This has been a fantastic showcase for Yorkshire where we’ve made some huge announcements that shows once again Yorkshire is leading the way.
“It’s fantastic news that tourism in Yorkshire is now worth an incredible £8billion to the county’s economy. Add to that the record breaking visitor numbers that many of our top attractions have had and it just goes to show just how strong the Yorkshire brand really is. We are on all time high and I couldn’t be prouder of everyone’s hard work. Yorkshire is competing on a global scale to be a top visitor destination.’