A host of travel companies have recognised Yorkshire as the place to be in 2014, says Gary Verity, chief executive of Welcome to Yorkshire
The world is waking up to Yorkshire and all that it has to offer, and it's a privilege to play a key role in promoting our great county and our wonderful businesses.
This is all priceless promotion for tourism and our successful bid to bring the Grand Départ of the Tour de France to Yorkshire in 2014 has clearly played a huge role.
Factors that contribute towards our reputation are our famous welcome, service, pride and the collective will to improve. Businesses in Yorkshire don't want to stand still, they want to lead the way. Yorkshire pride is powerful and it drives us all to greater things.
Many of our businesses work together; indeed, that is one of the roles of Welcome to Yorkshire. We encourage cross-promotion and support and hold monthly networking events across the county to bring people closer together. A new business called Yorkshire Trike Tours is working with attractions and accommodation on cycling routes to cross-promote each other. It's great for business.
One of our tools is a range of creative campaigns and PR activity to help spread our message. Our grander work has seen us take over King's Cross rail station in the run-up to the London 2012 Olympics, where we branded the ticket barriers in Welcome to Yorkshire logos. Our trails - such as our tea trails and ale trails - are as equally effective, too. It may be simple, but a map-based guide to some of the best food and drink is popular with all visitors.
Yorkshire's will be the greatest Grand Départ in the history of the Tour de France and will put Yorkshire on the map as a destination capable of hosting world-class events in a world-class location, providing a springboard to greater things. We are excited, we are proud and we are ready to welcome the world.