A RECORD-breaking number of international visitors were welcomed to Yorkshire during the first half of 2018, outperforming any other region in England.

Compared to the same period in 2017, visitors to Yorkshire increased by 8% with 647,000 international tourists visiting the county between January and June 2018.

Spend has also increased during the first half of the year, by 1% according to data published by VisitBritain.

Yorkshire is also the only region to see an increase in both spend and visitor numbers for this period.

The announcement comes just a month before Welcome to Yorkshire’s White Rose Awards, the UK’s biggest celebration of tourism, taking place in Harrogate on November 12.

Chief Executive of Welcome to Yorkshire, Sir Gary Verity said: “We’re thrilled that Yorkshire has bucked the national trend and experienced a record breaking six months for overseas visitors.

“This wonderful news gives us even more reasons to celebrate at the upcoming White Rose Awards next month - a fantastic ‘Big Night Out’ where we will raise a glass to a hugely successful year for tourism in Yorkshire.

“Every single business should be extremely proud of the huge amount of hard work put in to ensure Yorkshire remains a world class destination. It’s great to see everyone’s commitment paying off.

“Next year, with the fifth edition of the Tour de Yorkshire and the UCI Road World Championships, the county has two massive opportunities to showcase itself to the world and continue to attract international visitors.’