A RECORD number of overseas tourists visited Yorkshire in the first three months of this year.

Visitors from as far afield as Australia, the UAE, Singapore, Nigeria, Qatar, Chile, Canada, Serbia and New Zealand visited the county between January and March this year. Approximately 294,000 people came to the county from abroad, the highest number since recording began.

New figures released by VisitEngland also reveal the Borough of Scarborough, which includes Whitby and Filey, has retained its crown as most visited holiday destination in England, outside of London.

Yorkshire has four places in the top 20, with York at number six and Leeds and Harrogate also featuring in the list.

Chief executive of Welcome to Yorkshire, Sir Gary Verity, said: “It’s been a fantastic summer for tourism here in Yorkshire and it’s great to see official stats now showing a record-breaking start to the year too.

“We work hard showcasing the county across the globe and we’re delighted to have welcomed visitors from such a broad range of countries.

“We all know what a brilliant day out you can have on the Yorkshire coast and it looks like the secret is now well and truly out – as the Scarborough district has once again been named the most visited destination outside of London.

“From family fun in Scarborough, to fish and chips in Filey - recently named UK beach of the year by the Times, to heritage, stunning coastal walks, and the finest dining at world class fish restaurants in Whitby, and the Yorkshire coast is second to none.”