YORKSHIRE’S ranking in the top ten regions to visit in the world has been welcomed by York’s tourism officials.

The county was placed ahead of Texas and Majorca in the new Lonely Planet Best in Travel 2014 guide, which studies trends and favourite destinations.

The guide cited next year’s Tour de France, the number of Michelin-starred Yorkshire restaurants and Harrogate winning a poll to find the happiest town in Britain among its reasons to visit God’s own county.

The book says Yorkshire people are proud of their heritage, and that their county is “better than, and is really the best of all the English counties.”

It says: “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 from Leeds.”

The region’s tourism agencies have welcomed the ranking, which they say will help drive visitors not just to Yorkshire but to York too.

Gillian Cruddas, chief executive of Visit York, said: “This latest accolade for Yorkshire, from one of the world’s leading travel guides, is an excellent boost for marketing York as a world class city on the global stage.

“2014 is set to be an exciting year with the Grand Départ and Cultural Festival, a brand new exhibition at York Castle Museum and the return of the Mystery Plays, giving lots of new reasons to make York top of the list for places to visit in the year ahead.”

Gary Verity, chief executive of tourism agency Welcome To Yorkshire, said: “Endorsements rarely come much better than this, from a guide which has a worldwide reputation across tourism and informing visitors.

“This is massive for Yorkshire and our thousands of amazing tourism businesses, destinations and events.”

Coun Sonja Crisp, York’s cabinet member for leisure, culture and tourism, said she was not at all surprised that Yorkshire was in the Top 10.

She said: “It is something that we who live here have known all along. Obviously for me the city of York is my number one place to be, for its wealth of history, its culture, its leisure activities and the amazing friendliness of its people.”

Some of your favourite beauty spots

Readers of The Press told us about their favourite Yorkshire beauty spots through twitter:

@SophieBarley It’s the White Horse of Kilburn near Sutton Bank for me. Beautiful, special place.

@beaneee Brimham Rocks

@Salsa_Ritmica Royal Hall dance floor in Harrogate 🙂

@MaxTheNinjaDog Spurn Point for its desolate beauty; the Wolds for being quietly glorious.

@MrCMMC Wardle Green at the top of Cropton Forest. Can make you feel like the only person in the world.

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