THE allure of Yorkshire has helped the county defy what has been a tough year nationally, according to the latest tourism figures.

Trips to Yorkshire were up 16.3 per cent for the period September 2011 to August 2012 according to the official Great Britain Travel Survey.

The tourism spend in the county was also up – by 13.5 per cent – and overnight stays jumped by 11.4 per cent during the same period.

The figures come in the wake of a series of major national marketing campaigns launched by tourism agency Welcome to Yorkshire.

Campaigns included branding every ticket barrier at London’s Kings Cross station with the words “Welcome to Yorkshire” , a national “Have a Brilliant Yorkshire” TV ad campaign and product placement in Emmerdale.

The agency is now up for two tourism Oscars at the World Travel Awards on December 12, for World’s Leading Marketing Campaign and World’s Leading Tourist Board – despite losing their funding from the Governmnent.

Chief executive Gary Verity said: “We know it’s been a tough year for many tourism businesses with the weather and economic climate, but these stats are an indication that our innovative marketing and our thousands of incredible tourism businesses are paying dividends and showing we are strongest when we work together.

“Combine this with our world award shortlistings, and Yorkshire is now without doubt one of the world’s leading destinations and bucking the UK trend during what has been a very challenging summer for many businesses.”