Hoteliers, restaurateurs and caterers from around Yorkshire and beyond turned up at York Racecourse for day one of the first hotel, restaurant and bar show to be held in the county for more than a decade.

The two-day Yorkshire Hotel Show is a new, free event for industry professionals in the Yorkshire region aimed at creating business opportunities and featuring the latest equipment, food, drink, interiors and technology in tourism and hospitality.

With 36 stands and a series of guest speakers, the show features local and national organisations to showcase the best the hospitality industry has to offer for 2014 - a very special year to come with the Tour de France starting in Yorkshire.

BBC Radio York’s Drive Time presenter Elly Fiorentini opened the show yesterday.

Show director, Keith Myers, said: “Visitors have some of the best expertise for products and services on hand, a packed conference programme of business seminars and we are delighted that Elly agreed to help us launch the show.”

Marketing director John Gallery is expecting more than 500 visitors will have attended the show by the time it ends later today.

“He said: “We have had people from as far away as Derbyshire and Runswick Bay. It is the first show for many years, but we expect it to go from strength to strength in future years.”

“It gives hospitality professionals a chance to focus on such as careers, marketing and the supply chain, especially the importance of purchasing locally wherever possible.”

Today's key speaker - at 2.30pm - will be Ufi Ibrahim, chief executive of the British Hospitality Association, who will speak about career prospects in the tourism and hospitality industries and how people can rise to top jobs from the most humble beginnings.

Exhibitors include Welcome to Yorkshire, Saville AV, Visit York, Recommended Hotels, Travelzoo, Deliciously Yorkshire, Santander, Great Potential Tourism Marketing, BT Superfast Broadband, BskyB, British Hospitality Association, RNB Group and York, North Yorkshire and East Riding Local Enterprise Partnership.