Yorkshire wins Europe's Leading Destination award

Yorkshire has beaten Berlin, London and Madrid to win the title of Europe's Leading Destination in 2013. The tourism agency Welcome to Yorkshire was also recognised, winning Europe’s Leading Marketing Campaign for the second time.

The prize was awarded at the World Travel Awards in Antalya, Turkey, which are described by organisers as the "Oscars of the travel industry". Yorkshire is the first location other than a major city or country to have won the Leading Destination title in the 17-year history of the awards.

Chief executive OF Welcome to Yorkshire Gary Verity said: “It’s fantastic to see Yorkshire taking its rightful place as one of the top holiday destinations in Europe.

“It’s a real validation of both Welcome to Yorkshire’s work and the efforts of the thousands of attractions, restaurants, accommodation providers and other tourism businesses which make this county great.”

'Top destination'

The awards are intended to highlight and reward locations and travel brands considered to have made the greatest contribution to the tourism industry over the past twelve months. Tourism is worth about £7bn annually to Yorkshire, with 216 million visits made to the county each year, said Welcome to Yorkshire.

The award comes less than a year after Yorkshire won the right to host the start of the Tour de France in July next year, with the race's Grand Depart taking place in Leeds.

“News of this award comes off the back of a fantastic year already for Yorkshire and the growing excitement about Yorkshire’s hosting of the 2014 Grand Depart of the Tour de France. This is one of the biggest awards in international tourism, and I’m very proud to see Yorkshire at the top.”

Welcome to Yorkshire has won seven European and World Travel Awards since it launched in 2009 beating globally recognised travel brands and some of the world’s leading destination management organisations.

Previous winners of the Leading European Destination award include Istanbul, Paris, London and Barcelona.

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