Harrogate has helped Yorkshire secure a top-ten place on a global list of must-see regions.
Tour de France host county Yorkshire is listed third in the top ten regions in Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2014 guide.
The first two stages of the world’s largest annual sporting event will pass through Harrogate, Knaresborough, Nidderdale and Ripon next July, and the news comes just days after the official route was confirmed in Paris.
Yorkshire sits ahead of destinations such as Texas and Mallorca, and the top ten finish comes after Harrogate was this year named the happiest place to live in Britain, and the best place in the UK in which to get a good night’s sleep.
In guide describes the county: “If the good people of Yorkshire were proud of their heritage before, the London 2012 Olympics only served to cement what they have always thought: that their county is better than – and really the best of – all the English counties.
“In 2014, this welcoming region of rugged moorlands, heritage homes and cosy pubs will be able to hold its head even higher when the Tour de France begins its Grand Départ.
“As if basking in Yorkshire’s glory, last year a poll revealed the North Yorkshire spa town of Harrogate was the happiest place in Britain. We’re not surprised.”
Gary Verity, Chief Executive of Welcome to Yorkshire, said: “Endorsements rarely come much better than this, from a guide that has a worldwide reputation across tourism and informing visitors.
“This is massive for Yorkshire and our thousands of amazing tourism businesses, destinations and events.
“Welcome to Yorkshire has worked tirelessly with our partners since we launched in 2009 to put Yorkshire on the world map because we know how amazing and unique our county is.
“Seeing Yorkshire rank so highly in this guide is testament to the collective hard work that has been put in, not least in securing the Grand Départ of the Tour de France for Yorkshire next summer.”
Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2014 contributor Tom Hall said: “It’s about time that travellers wake up to the wonder that is Yorkshire.
“Listing the county as one of the best regions in the world for visitors in the coming year is in recognition of it being a fantastic all-rounder; with some of the most stunning scenery in the country, dynamic cities, friendly people and a burgeoning food scene.”
Sikkim in India and The Kimberley, Australia charted first and second, with regions in China, Tonga, Japan and Zimbabwe and Zambia also featured.