Leeds is a top city for a trip away, figures reveal

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A Leeds hotel chief has put a surge in visitor numbers down to the fantastic events the region has hosted in the last year.

Deborah Hindley, director of Leeds Hotels and Venues Association, said more and more tourists are using Leeds as a gateway to the rest of Yorkshire after new figures revealed a 20 per cent increase in overnight trips to the region.

England overall has seen a surge in the number of people taking short breaks.

The new figures from The London Government Association show there were 103 million overnight trips in the country in 2015, an 11 per cent increase on 2014, while expenditure jumped eight per cent to £19.6 billion. Trips in London and the South West both increased by 14 per cent, significantly behind Yorkshire’s 20 per cent. The tourism industry in the region has been boosted by the Tour de France Grand Depart in 2014 and two subsequent Tour de Yorkshire races.

In addition there has been a huge drive over recent years to promote all Yorkshire has to offer.

Deborah said: “Leeds has welcomed a number of large scale events over the past year, which has contributed significantly to the leisure tourism market.

“Hotels within the city have seen a steady growth in occupancy with more and more tourists visiting Leeds as the gateway to Yorkshire.”

The wider picture shows UK tourism has been boosted by a growing trend, following the economic collapse, of the ‘staycation’ and also the falling value of the pound as a result of the vote to leave the EU.

Sir Gary Verity, chief executive of Welcome to Yorkshire, said: “We did predict 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. We are delighted to hear that this is the case.”

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