Tourism report reveals £9 billion boost to Yorkshire’s economy

The value of tourism to the Yorkshire economy has grown to £9 billion a year, according to new research by academics at Sheffield Hallam University.

A report produced by Sheffield Business School has revealed that in the 12 months from 2016 to 2017 the income from tourism in Yorkshire grew by £1 billion.

The figures were revealed at Welcome to Yorkshire’s annual conference Y19 in Leeds, held to mark the organisation’s tenth anniversary.

Speaking about the findings of the economic impact review, Dr Emma Martin, head of the department of service sector management at Sheffield Business School, said: “Our study found that tourism is certainly booming in Yorkshire and in total £7.3 billion was spent by visitors to the county with an extra £1.7 billion going into the supply chain.

“Day trips were up with visits to Yorkshire’s attractions increasing by seven per cent, something which can be attributed in part to the events and attractions in Hull during its 2017 tenure as UK City of Culture.”

The report found 8.5 per cent of all jobs in Yorkshire (224,000) were tourism related; £1.74 billion was spent by overnight domestic visitors to the county and the overall spend by day visitors was £5.02 billion. International visitors spent £567 million – up 10 per cent.

In 2017 149 million people paid day trips to Yorkshire, spending an average of £34 per trip – putting £5.02 billion into the local economy.

Yorkshire and Humber reported the highest level of visitor growth in the UK in 2016-17 – the year Hull held the title of UK City of Culture, with visitors up ten per cent.

The largest proportion of international visitors was from the US – up 27 per cent on previous figures, with spending from this market up 44 per cent.

Of those visiting Yorkshire from abroad, 39 per cent were visiting friends and relatives in the county and this was the most popular reason for visiting. Of those, 13 per cent stayed longer than a week and most visited from July to September.

The spend per international visitor was £423 with the average visitor spending eight nights in the county.

Peter Dodd, commercial director at Welcome to Yorkshire said: “To have the tourism industry grow by £1billion in 12 months is fantastic news and everyone in the county should be incredibly proud of all the hard work that is being done to continue to raise Yorkshire’s profile.

“Brand Yorkshire has never been stronger and together with our members, partners and everyone in the tourism industry we look forward to building on that success even more.

“Welcome to Yorkshire will continue to be bold, creative and ambitious to bring world class events to the region to underpin the vital lifeblood of grassroots tourism.”

Research conducted by Sheffield Hallam University aims to drive economic growth by providing solutions to increase productivity and keep business ahead of the curve through innovation in response to global challenges.

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