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Huge rise of foreign tourists in Yorkshire

Welcome to Yorkshire

12:01am 19th February 2012

Foreign legions of tourists choosing Yorkshire

There has been a dramatic increase in tourists from overseas choosing Yorkshire as their desired holiday destination, according to figures just released.

Figures for the nine months to September 2011 show that international visits to Yorkshire were up 12%, compared with a 4% national average.

Cash registers have been ringing too as spend was up 29% compared with only 7% nationally in the same time period.

These latest independent figures - from the International Passenger Survey - also show a dramatic year-on-year increase of nearly 40% in lengths of stay of international visitors in Yorkshire compared to the 5% national average.

Gary Verity, Chief Executive of Welcome to Yorkshire, said:

"Not many people would have thought a decade ago that we would be talking about Yorkshire being one of the world's number one choices of destination for tourists.

"But that's something we've always believed in, and something that has spurred on our marketing, PR and promotion of our county to a global audience - last month saw us scoop a World Travel Award for just that.

"Yorkshire's several thousand dedicated and creative tourism businesses coupled with some of the planet's most impressive areas of outstanding beauty mean that Yorkshire has more to offer than most - and these latest figures are proof of that."

The growth in the first three quarters' visitor numbers and their expenditure is mainly triggered by increased numbers of people travelling to Yorkshire from France, Germany and Far East.

Welcome to Yorkshire's overseas marketing has seen annual campaigns recently run in Germany and Holland, with Jet2.com and P&O Ferries, plus the launch of versions of award-winning www.yorkshire.com  website translated into Chinese, German, Dutch, Italian, French and Spanish.

The tourism agency also currently has the Welcome to Yorkshire yacht sailing around the globe in the latest Clipper Round the World Yacht Race - which will be seen by more than 250m people including many in the Far East.

In 2010, the agency also struck a deal to run TV adverts in the backs of New York Taxi cabs and bosses are now in talks with the Tour de France to bring the Grand Depart to the county in 2016.

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