Tourism boost to abbey site

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A jewel in the region’s crown has seen a boost in visitor numbers after high profile events in Yorkshire.

The welcome boost for Ripon’s Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal was revealed in a report which revealed international visitors to Yorkshire have spent nearly £100m in the year’s first quarter.

From January to March 267,000 overseas visitors spent £99 million, up a huge 30 percent on the same period last year, according to figures released from Visit Britain.

International spend in Yorkshire is also nearly double the national average which is up 16 percent year on year.

Sir Gary Verity, Chief Executive of Welcome to Yorkshire said: “This is fantastic news for the county and one of the main reasons why we put on global events like the Tour de Yorkshire and the UCI Road World Championships.

“These events are televised to hundreds of millions of people around the world creating a giant postcard beaming stunning images of Yorkshire across the globe.

“Businesses in Yorkshire have told us they’re seeing a real influx of visitors from all over the world.”

Justin Scully, General Manager at Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal, Ripon said the site had shared in the boost of visitors.

“We’re certainly seeing the benefit of Yorkshire hosting these huge events and are welcoming even more visitors to the World Heritage Site from overseas.

“Organised groups from Spain, the Netherlands, Germany and China are increasing as well as the number of independent travellers who are enjoying extended stays in this beautiful county of ours.”

The Cistercian abbey and Georgian water garden and medieval deer park has been a popular tourist spot and World Heritage Site for generations with people drawn to the follies, lakes, statues and the ruins of the abbey.

Other Yorkshire attractions which has seen a boost have included the National Coal Mining Museum in Wakefield, the Crown Spa Hotel in Scarborough and the Tropical Butterfly House and Wildlife Centre near Sheffield.

Welcome to Yorkshire is a not-for-profit membership organisation, funded in part by grants, sponsorship and Welcome to Yorkshire members.

“Tourism in Yorkshire is worth £7 billion annually,” said a spokesman who added that tourism employs nearly a quarter of a million people.