BRADFORD Literature Festival has triumphed at the White Rose Awards, taking home the Tourism event of the Year trophy.

The team behind the festival, which has been running in the city since 2014, picked up the award at a ceremony in Harrogate on Monday night.

They were up against other venues and event such as The Yorkshire Dales Food and Drink festival, Scarborough Open Air Theatres, Hallowscream at York Maze, and A Thornton Hall Farm Christmas Adventure.

Festival Director, Syima Aslam, said: “I’m incredibly proud that the festival has won Tourism event of the year.

"The vision for the festival has always been to create a national and international destination festival and this year we attracted more than 70,000 attendees from as far afield as Canada and Pakistan to London and Edinburgh.

"Given we started in 2014 with nothing more than a passion for Bradford, a love of books, and a burning desire to create an amazing festival, this is a tremendous accolade not just for BLF but also for the city and all our sponsors and funders who’s belief in us has made this possible.

"This award demonstrates that Bradford truly is the cultural heart of Yorkshire, and should be on everybody’s list of ‘places to visit’ in 2019."

The awards recognise the very best n Yorkshire’s tourism industry, from arts and culture to events and attractions, accommodation, food and drink.

More than a thousand people, including stars from Great British Bake Off, Yorkshire football and cricket, and record-breaking racing star Mark Johnston attended the awards ceremony at the Harrogate Convention Centre to find out the winners of the 17 awards.

Guests were also treated to performances from Mercury nominee Kate Rusby, the Yorkshire Regiment, Queen Margaret’s Performing Arts Choir and Huddersfield dance troop Scandalous Productions.

They also saw England manager Gareth Southgate be named an ‘Honorary Yorkshireman’ in recognition of his achievements with the England football team at the 2018 World Cup in Russia and his dedication to Yorkshire which has now been his home for almost 20 years.

Sir Gary Verity, chief executive of Welcome to Yorkshire said on the night: “Every single winner and finalist this evening deserves huge congratulations, they are all stars of Yorkshire and the UK’s tourism industry and should be incredibly proud of their achievements.

“Yorkshire has some of the best food and drink, accommodation, arts and attractions in the world thanks to the fantastic effort of our members and I hope they are as proud as we are of everything we achieve together to keep our county a number one visitor destination.”

Chairman of the independent panel of judges, Professor Colin Mellors said: “It has been another tremendous year for Yorkshire tourism.

“The sector makes a vital contribution to the region’s economy and its reputation and the White Rose Awards are our annual opportunity to recognise and celebrate the very best of Yorkshire hospitality.”

The full list of winners were: ARTS & CULTURE AWARD: Leeds Playhouse; BUSINESS TOURISM AWARD; Yorkshire Event Centre, Harrogate; HOLIDAY PARK OF THE YEAR: Vale of Pickering Caravan Park; GUEST ACCOMMODATION OF THE YEAR: Cambridge House, Reeth; INNS & RESTAURANTS WITH ROOMS: Estbek House, Sandsend; LARGE ATTRACTION OF THE YEAR: Cannon Hall Farm, Barnsley; LARGE HOTEL OF THE YEAR: The Devonshire Arms Hotel & Spa, Bolton Abbey; OUTSTANDING CUSTOMER SERVICE AWARD: Team York Maze; PRODUCERS AND MAKERS AWARD: Tipple Tails, Sheffield; PUB OF THE YEAR: The Dunkirk, Denby Dale; RESTAURANT OF THE YEAR: SKOSH, York; SELF-CATERING ACCOMMODATION: Broadgate Farm Cottages, Beverley; SMALL ATTRACTION OF THE YEAR: Grimm & Co, Rotherham; SMALL HOTEL OF THE YEAR: Brocco on the Park, Sheffield; TASTE OF YORKSHIRE AWARD: Yummy Yorkshire, Denby Dale; TOURISM EVENT OF THE YEAR: Bradford Literature Festival; and VISITOR INFORMATION AWARD: Aysgarth Falls Tourist Information Centre.