Yorkshire puts London in the shade as surge in short breaks boosts region’s tourism

Tour de France. Commercial Street, Hebden Bridge.
Tour de France. Commercial Street, Hebden Bridge.

YORKSHIRE has witnessed one of the biggest rises in overnight stays nationally as England has seen a surge in the number of tourists taking short breaks, according to figures published today.

Latest industry figures showed there were 103 million overnight trips in England in 2015, an 11 per cent increase on 2014, while expenditure jumped eight per cent to £19.6bn.

The West Midlands saw the biggest increase in overnight trips with a rise of 22 per cent on last year, closely followed by Yorkshire at 20 per cent. London and the South-West both polled at 14 per cent, according to the Local Government Association (LGA).

The tourism industry in Yorkshire has been boosted by the staging of the Tour de France’s Grand Départ in 2014 and the two subsequent Tour de Yorkshire races in 2015 and earlier this year. There has also been a major marketing campaign in recent years to promote the region by the tourism organisation, Welcome to Yorkshire.

The UK’s tourism industry has been boosted by a growing trend, following the economic collapse nine years ago, of the “staycation”, and also the falling value of the pound as a result of the Referendum vote to leave the European Union.

Domestic tourism is predicted to grow 2.9 per cent every year over the next decade, outpacing the overall economy which is expected to expand 2.5 per cent yearly, according to the LGA.

Welcome to Yorkshire’s chief executive, Sir Gary Verity, said: “We did predict that a decline in the value of the sterling would act as a further incentive for international visitors to holiday here and for domestic visitors to opt for a staycation in Yorkshire, and we are delighted to hear that this is the case.

“Yorkshire saw the second most overnight trips from visitors last year and we are working hard to ensure the county is marketed nationally and internationally to make it the place to enjoy a staycation or holiday.”