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Tour de France helps Yorkshire break tourism records

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Yorkshire’s hosting of the Tour de France Grand Départ helped the region set a new record for overseas visits during Q3 2014, with foreign cycling fans contributing to a £230m spend during the period.

As Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg and tourism minister Helen Grant visited Sheffield recently to discuss the £10m Northern Tourism fund, newly released figures for the first nine months of 2014 show a bumper period for Yorkshire with overseas visits up 12 per cent. Nearly 1.1 million foreign tourists ventured to Yorkshire during the period, spending a total of £465m. The strongest growth in visits came from Australia, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Spain and USA.

“Yorkshire is playing a big part in helping to drive Britain's record tourism boom. Last year's Tour de France Grand Depart showcased the best of this wonderful region to the world and now it is about keeping up that momentum,” said tourism minister Helen Grant.

"It is why we have launched a £10m fund to help strengthen tourism in the north and why the Deputy Prime Minister and myself have met key stakeholders in Sheffield, including Welcome to Yorkshire's Gary Verity, to discuss what more can be done to help further growth in the region."

Clegg and Grant met representatives from Welcome to Yorkshire, Marketing Manchester and Cumbria Tourism, as well as other northern tourism officials, at the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield. The pair asked northern destination management organisations to work with VisitEngland and submit a single proposal outlining how the funding should be invested for maximum growth returns. Whilst VisitEngland will hold the funds initially, local partners in the north will lead the way with determining how the money is spent.

“The funding in place is there to create a single vision for boosting tourism right across the north, rather than focusing on individual cities or hotspots,” said Clegg.

“Today’s meeting is the first step in bringing together existing work being done to bring visitors to the north; and will see people of the north put a comprehensive tourism offer in place to successfully show off the best of the north.”

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Yorkshire’s hosting of the Tour de France Grand Départ helped the region set a new record for overseas visits during Q3 2014, with foreign cycling fans contributing to a £230m spend during the period.
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The peloton riding up Hullen Edge Lane in Yorkshire during the stage 2 of Le Tour de France 2014 / chris2766 / Shutterstock.com