THIS year’s audience at the Bradford Means Business Awards will hear from keynote speaker Peter Dodd, commercial director of Welcome to Yorkshire.

Peter joined Welcome to Yorkshire, the official destination marketing organisation for Yorkshire, as International Sales and Marketing Director in January 2009.

Peter played an instrumental part in the Welcome to Yorkshire team which won the bid to bring the Grand Départ of the Tour de France – the world’s largest annual sporting event – to Yorkshire in 2014.

He has also been pivotal in creating and delivering the Tour de Yorkshire cycling event which has seen some of the world’s best riders race through the county.

He leads Welcome to Yorkshire’s marketing activities, which include key digital platforms across web and social media.

He said: “There are 216 million visits to Yorkshire each year and internationally. The county enjoyed a hugely successful 2016 including record-breaking overseas visitor numbers bringing in a massive £515.54 million to the Yorkshire economy.

“The county is on track to enjoy an even stronger 2017. We had a record-breaking Tour de Yorkshire this year – 2.2 million roadside spectators turned out as Yorkshire, and of course the Sunday start in Bradford, was showcased to 180 countries around the world on TV.

“The impact on the economy is expected to exceed 2016, which was worth over £60m. Since launching in 2009, Welcome to Yorkshire has driven up the value of Yorkshire’s tourism economy from £5.9bn to over £7bn. Tourism employs a quarter of a million people across the county and has created 4,000 new jobs for people. Our mission is to continue raising the profile of the county, keeping Yorkshire front of mind as the number one visitor destination in the UK.”

Prior to joining Welcome to Yorkshire, Peter worked for ten years at the umbrella organisation England’s North Country, a partnership of regional tourist boards and regional development agencies. As a director reporting to the Board and Chair he devised and implemented the sales and marketing strategy for the entire region designed to grow the value of international tourism.

Peter has a proven track record of successful networking worldwide and the ability to interact and influence at the highest levels. He is highly regarded in the tourism industry as a key figure who can deliver results.

Out of hours Peter is keen on sport and is a former northern premier league hockey player.