A bit of good news in the run-up to Christmas: Visitor numbers to Yorkshire increased this summer, despite the dismal weather.

Trips to Yorkshire were up 16.3 per cent for the period September 2011 to August 2012 according to the official Great Britain Travel Survey.

And more great news for the county’s tourism economy is that spend was up 13.5 per cent and overnight stays were up 11.5 per cent during the same period.

The stats follow a series of major national marketing campaigns launched by tourism agency Welcome to Yorkshire to increase visitor numbers and help grow the economy during the tough economic climate and a wet summer.

Campaigns included branding every ticket barrier at London’s Kings Cross station with ‘Welcome to Yorkshire’ and www.yorkshire.com ahead of the Olympics, a national ‘Have a Brilliant Yorkshire’ television ad campaign and product placement promoting the county in Emmerdale.

The organisation also produced a medal map for Yorkshire during the Olympics, showing where our medal winners were from and encouraging people to visit – alongside the fact that if Yorkshire was a country it would have ranked twelfth in the Olympic medal table.

Gary Verity, Chief Executive of Welcome to Yorkshire, says, “We know it’s been a tough year for many tourism businesses with the weather and economic climate, but these stats are an indication that our innovative marketing and our thousands of incredible tourism businesses are paying dividends and showing we are strongest when we work together.

“Yorkshire is now without doubt one of the world’s leading destinations and bucking the UK trend during what has been a very challenging summer for many businesses. By working together we can deal with the tough times, get real results and continue to position Yorkshire as a leading destination.”

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