MAJOR announcements for Bradford were made at a tourism conference this morning.

The Alhambra Theatre hosted Welcome to Yorkshire's Y18 conference, where Bradford was unveiled as a start for the 2019 UCI Road World Cycling Championships. 

Lizzie Deignan, the reigning Asda Women’s Tour de Yorkshire Champion was on stage as the news broke. 

A new food and drink campaign for the city was unveiled. Run in partnership with Bradford Council, it will see Bradford's diverse food and drink scene come to life though trails, food offers and reviews by some of the country's top foodie writers and bloggers. 

And pantomime legend Billy Pearce received the Pride of Yorkshire Award as he looks to celebrate his 20th year on stage at the Alhambra. 

At the event, the largest of its kind in the UK, exclusive new research was revealed showing tourism is now worth £8bn to the Yorkshire economy. 

That's a 14 per cent increase since the last report in 2011 when tourism was worth £7 billion.

Welcome to Yorkshire also unveiled multi-million-pound marketing campaigns to boost tourism, which will see the county promoted on both a national and global scale. 

Over the next 10 years, £5 million is being spent to promote the North York Moors, a million pounds of that will be spent over the next 18 months. A huge campaign is getting underway with adverts in cinemas, radio and on TV as well as in titles such as Cycling Weekly, Marie Claire and Woman and Home.

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.

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. This has been a fantastic showcase for Yorkshire where we’ve made some huge announcements that shows once again Yorkshire is leading the way.’

“It’s fantastic news that tourism in Yorkshire is now worth an incredible £8 billion to the county’s economy. Add to that the record breaking visitor numbers that many of our top attractions have had and it just goes to show just how strong the Yorkshire brand really is. We are on all time high and I couldn’t be prouder of everyone’s hard work.

"Yorkshire is competing on a global scale to be a top visitor destination."