Figures just out show Yorkshire tourism made a grand start to 2013 after the announcement that the Tour de France is coming to the county.
Despite freezing temperatures, Yorkshire tourism saw the highest year-on-year rise for spend in England this January and February compared to the same time last year – up 47 per cent.
The news comes as Welcome to Yorkshire teamed up with Lightwater Valley this week to launch a new summer campaign to promote the county.
The new campaign capitalises on the strong start to 2013 which also saw trips to Yorkshire up 6.6 per cent and overnight stays rise 24.2 per cent during the same period, according to the Great Britain Travel Survey (GBTS).
This all follows the historic news in December 2012 when Welcome to Yorkshire discovered their audacious bid to bring the Grand Depart of the Tour de France – the world’s largest annual sporting event – had been successful.
Gary Verity, chief executive, Welcome to Yorkshire, said: “Stats like these are testament to the hard work and determination of our tourism businesses, coupled with the innovative work we do to market Yorkshire.
“These encouraging figures follow our announcement that we had secured the Tour de France – and the subsequent international media coverage it brought for Yorkshire, thrusting it into the spotlight once more.
“Our summer campaign, backed by Lightwater Valley, builds on this great start. It shows that by working together across the county, Yorkshire can lead the way.
“Yorkshire is now recognised as one of the leading tourist destinations in Europe and our summer guide is just one of a number of initiatives we are leading to build on this momentum.”
These latest stats showed that in the same period, England’s national averages for trips were up 0.9 per cent, overnights stays up 7.3 per cent and spend up 9.2 per cent - all way below Yorkshire’s performance.
Early estimates predict Le Tour could be worth more than £100 million to Yorkshire’s economy when the race’s Grand Depart kicks off on July 5th, 2014, for stage one and July 6th for stage two.