Research shows that tourism is worth £8 billion a year to the Yorkshire economy – up by 14% since 2011 when the same study calculated that the sector was worth £7 billion.
The news was revealed at Welcome to Yorkshire’s Y18 conference at Bradford’s Alhambra Theatre, and the figures come from new independent research carried out by Sheffield Hallam University.
Sir Gary Verity, chief executive of Welcome to Yorkshire, said: “It’s fantastic news that tourism in Yorkshire is now worth an incredible £8 billion 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. Yorkshire is competing on a global scale to be a top visitor destination.”
Welcome to Yorkshire also unveiled multimillion-pound marketing campaigns to boost tourism, which will see the county promoted domestically and globally.
Over the next 10 years, £5 million is being spent to promote the North York Moors and a major campaign has begun with adverts in cinemas, radio and on TV, as well as in titles such as Cycling Weekly, Marie Claire andWoman and Home.
£1 million has also been pledged from the Discover England Fund, led by Visit England, to promote Yorkshire as a top cycling holiday destination in Europe.
Welcome to Yorkshire will be creating bookable tourism products to target travellers in Germany and the Netherlands.
Another new campaign in partnership with Bradford Council will see the city’s diverse food and drink scene promoted with new trails, food offers and reviews by some of the country’s top food writers and bloggers.
The conference also heard from Emmerdale star Dominic Brunt, who celebrated Yorkshire’s record-breaking attractions including Yorkshire Wildlife Trust, Scarborough’s Open Air Theatre, Eureka, Cannon Hall Farm and Yorkshire Wildlife Park.
Picture shows Yorkshire Air Museum, Elvington, York. Credit: Welcome to Yorkshire.