A FESTIVE York visitor attraction has enjoyed a record breaking Christmas after drawing bigger crowds than ever before.

Yorkshire’s Winter Wonderland and the Ice Factor, which operated at the York Designer Outlet before the festive period, said its ninth year had proved its most successful yet.

Almost 48,000 people flocked to the site over the month it was open, up from 46,200 last year.

Maria Farrugia, the event’s executive producer, said: “We are thrilled that it is still growing, and people are enjoying the attraction each year.”

Maria put the boost in popularity down to an overhauled marketing strategy and a new look café and catering facilities provided by York business Papakata.

She said: “Last year we branded it jointly as Yorkshire’s Winter Wonderland and the Ice Factor, and this year we have branded ourselves more heavily as Yorkshire’s Winter Wonderland.

“We’ve had a whole new look café as Papakata transformed it into an alpine chalet, and the food from Papakitchen was all homemade food, which has been a massive pull for customers as well.”

The location is now in the process of being dismantled but staff are already looking ahead to Christmas 2014, which will mark the attraction’s tenth anniversary.

The next event will be the last under the terms of the attraction’s existing planning permission, meaning the organisers are already thinking not only about Christmas 2014 but beyond.

Maria said: “We will definitely be applying to renew the permission, but it means we need to think more long term. We are going to regroup in the next two weeks.”