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Visitor numbers rise in the Dales

Visitor numbers rise in the Dales

Published at 1:04pm 28th April 2015. (Updated at 6:42pm 28th April 2015)

200,000 more people came to the Yorkshire Dales National Park last year.

Latest figures show the 3.7 million visitors contributed nearly £240 million to the local economy.

National Park bosses say it wasn't just the spectacle of the world’s biggest cycle race which attracted them.

Whilst the Tour de France Grand Départ pulled in thousands, the total number of visitors over the year was up by 6% on 2013, according to a report.

Julie Barker, the National Park Authority’s Head of Recreation, Tourism and Outreach, said: "These figures are very encouraging, because they show that the visitor economy within the area has grown over the last two years, with 2014 building on the 3.5% increase already seen between 2012 and 2013.

"The figures for last year illustrate the influence of the Tour de France, which brought many more visitors to the area, with an impressive 94% saying they were likely to come back to the area.

"But, significantly, visitor numbers were up throughout the year - so this was not just a blip caused by the Tour weekend in July."

Judith Donovan CBE, Chair of the Destination Dales group, added: "Visitors are a vital part of our local economy and support a large number of businesses - from the local shops, pubs and tearooms to B&Bs, hotels and visitor attractions.

"In 2014, day visitors contributed £301 million to the economy throughout the Dales and staying visitors £317 million.

"But we cannot be complacent and we really need to build on the momentum of the last two years."