Visitors to York spent £1.2 billion in the city last year - while tourism supported 17,000 jobs.

The figures were revealed as Visit York held its tourism conference for 2024 at York St John University's creative centre.

The conference, on February 1, brought together the city's industry and political leaders in an effort to collaborate more on the ongoing success of York's tourism.

Managing director of Make it York, Sarah Loftus said the event was for "promoting excellence in York to support our local businesses, residents and visitors".

In 2023, Visit York hosted 17 events, earning Trip Advisor's "Traveller's choice" award, Which magazine's best city and market, and NAMBA's best specialty market in the UK.

Data presented at the conference showed that 8.9 million people visited the city in 2023, with 1.2 million of them travelling internationally. They brought an economic impact of £1.7 billion, with £1.2 billion spent by visitors. 

York Press: York's Christmas Market were a success this yearYork's Christmas Market were a success this year (Image: Harry Booth)

The data also revealed that tourism supported 17,000 jobs across the city.

City of York Council's executive member for health and wellbeing, Cllr Jo Coles, spoke at the conference and said: "Our tourism economy is vitally important, creating thousands of jobs and bringing millions of visitors to our great city every year.

"Tourism can drive dynamism and inspire change in how people want to spend their leisure time, and their money.

"The transformation of Coppergate from a simple sweet shop to Jorvik, a nationally recognised visitor attraction celebrating 40 years this April, is a prime example of that."

York Press: The York food festival was a hit among touristsThe York food festival was a hit among tourists (Image: Harry Booth)

Cllr Coles also went on to call on businesses to help make a bigger tourism contribution to the city, searching for ways they can contribute more to the upkeep of York.

She said: "To build on what we have and to attract our residents into rewarding careers, we need to generate progression opportunities where they can see a future in the tourism sector. 

"We also, as part of our economic and tourism strategies, need to focus on sustainability and green tourism.

"How do people get here, get around and what will tourism look like in 10 years’ time? The world is changing so we need to work together to seize the opportunities this will offer."