YORK'S hotels have reported their highest annual average occupancy rate as latest figures reveal a record breaking year.

The city's tourism agency Visit York has released detailed analysis of its annual members survey, which showed a rise three per cent year-on-year rise in hotel room occupancy to 79.4 per cent, marking the highest figure since the survey began in 2007.

The latest survey results, which cover 2014, also showed York's attractions enjoyed their second most successful year ever in 2014, with 3.1 million visitors going through their doors, second only to the total of 3.4 million visitors in 2013.

Events such as the Great Gathering of A4s at the National Railway Museum and the Orb and the Undercroft at York Minster were listed as contributing to a successful year for attractions.

Last month headline figures from the survey were announced at Visit York's annual conference, with the first indications of a record breaking year as annual visitor spend reached a new high of £608 million, up six per cent from £573 million in 2013, as daily visitor spend increased from £35.90 to £44.86.

The survey also revealed visitor numbers were up by 1.5 per cent to 6.8 million, and the number of jobs supported by tourism has increased by six per cent to 20,300.

A roundup of key results from the Annual Economic Impact Model and Visitor Survey showed that four per cent (246,000) of York's leisure visitors were from overseas. While the figure was on a par with the previous year, spending from overseas visitors increased by £1 million to £49 million.

The top five nationalities visiting York were: Americans, representing 18 per cent of all overseas visitors, Germans, marking 13 per cent, up form five per cent, French, who rose from seven per cent to nine per cent, and in fourth place the Chinese, who came from tenth place and just three per cent two years ago to eight per cent.

Kate McMullen, head of Tourism, Make It York, the parent company of Visit York, said: "We’re now using an improved questionnaire, so while we’re confident we are seeing an increase in Chinese visitors for example, we also need to consider that we’re now getting a higher proportion of responses from non-English speaking nations, who may have opted out of completing the full questionnaire in previous years due to language difficulties.

"These results are encouraging and demonstrate our overseas marketing campaigns are paying dividends.

"We are seeing growth in the proportions of Chinese, German and French visitors specifically. We believe it’s our strong partnership approach, working closely with York’s tourism businesses and their innovation that continually enables York to stay ahead of the competition."

Further goods news in the survey showed that 99 per cent of visitors said they would recommend York to friends and family.

Ms McMullen said: "Whether here for a holiday or business trip, by spending in our hotels, shops and restaurants it’s clear that visitors contribute significantly to the city. "Our aim has always been to concentrate on increasing the value of tourism in York, so we’re delighted with these latest results and we will continue to build on this success."

Survey results for the year end 2015, will be known at the end of this year.