NEW figures have revealed the tourism sector is now worth £8 billion to Yorkshire’s economy.

The statistic, revealed at Welcome to Yorkshire’s Y18 conference, showed a 14 per cent increase in value since the last report in 2011 when tourism was worth £7 billion.

The news was revealed in front of a thousand-strong audience at the conference at Bradford’s Alhambra Theatre and comes in the middle of English Tourism Week. The figures come from new independent research carried out by Sheffield Hallam University.

Welcome to Yorkshire also unveiled multi-million-pound marketing campaigns to boost tourism, which will see the county promoted both domestically and globally.

Sir Gary Verity, chief executive of Welcome to Yorkshire said: “What an epic event it has been, I couldn’t have wished for a better day for our 10th Y conference.”

Over the next 10 years, £5 million is being spent to promote the North York Moors, a large portion of which will be spent over the next 18 months.

A million pounds has also been pledged from the Discover England Fund, led by Visit England, to promote Yorkshire as a top cycling holiday destination in Europe. Welcome to Yorkshire will be creating bookable tourism products to target travellers in Germany and the Netherlands.

Stars of stage, screen and sport also joined Welcome to Yorkshire’s event to make other big announcements.

Emmerdale star Dominic Brunt, who plays vet Paddy Kirk in the soap, celebrated Yorkshire’s record breaking attractions including Yorkshire Wildlife Trust, Scarborough’s Open Air Theatre, Eureka, Cannon Hall Farm and Yorkshire Wildlife Park, all of which have had incredible visitor numbers in 2017.