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Visitors up 4 per cent in Leeds

ConferenceLeeds reveals visitor survey results as it prepares its bid for the 2023 European Capital of Culture

Pictured: more than 27 million people visited Leeds last year

ConferenceLeeds has reported a 4 per cent increase in visitor numbers in 2016, as the city rallies interest in its bid for the 2023 European Capital of Culture.

The convention bureau carried out a STEAM survey in association with VisitLeeds, which found 27.29 million tourists visited in 2016, while visitor numbers rose 9.7 per cent since 2013. Day visitors grew by 4 per cent and overnight stays increased 5.4 per cent.

It comes as Leeds approaches the 100 day countdown before it submits its bid to become the European Capital of Culture in 2023.

Councillor Judith Blake, Leader of Leeds City Council, said: "We know Leeds is a welcoming city but these figures show the wider appeal to visitors coming for a leisure break or staying here on business. We have built up a fantastic reputation for hosting world class events that people come from far and wide to enjoy. Tourism like this has a significant impact on the Leeds economy, helping to create and sustain jobs for people who live here.  And on the back of the recent Lonely Planet accolade which names Leeds as one of the top 10 cities to visit in 2017, we hope to build on this with the bid for the European Capital of Culture in 2023, to ensure the city remains one of the most sought after visitor destinations in the UK."

Leeds was named as a top 10 UK conferencing destination by the International Convention and Congress Association, and improved its rankings by 149 places.

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