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PARTNERSHIPS HELP WIN TOP TRAVEL AWARD FOR LEEDS

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Leeds has been voted Favourite UK City for 2003 by readers of the Condé ...
Leeds has been voted Favourite UK City for 2003 by readers of the Condé

Nast Traveller magazine.

Coming from the UK's most respected magazine publisher, within a publication that prides itself on its independence, the award is proof of the effectiveness of close working relationships Leeds City Council has established with the tourism industry

in recent years.

Elizabeth Minkin, Leeds City Council's lead member for development and sustainability, said: 'Leeds City Council, hotels, nightclubs, bars and restaurants, attractions, and retailers have all worked in partnership to make the visitor experience to Leeds a vibrant, cosmopolitan and high quality one, which is not only bringing back repeat customer but also developing new markets. Winning this prestigious award for the first time is another important step towards establishing Leeds as an internationally competitive, and a 'must see' European destination.

'It is a magnificent achievement for the whole city, Leeds City Council and

its partners - it is a particular achievement for the tourism service

itself.'

Lesley Johnson, Leeds City Council's tourism manager, said: 'Working with

different agencies we have developed a range of popular and award winning

weekend breaks, and contributed to the image of the city as a vibrant and

cosmopolitan destination.'

This was reflected in the survey with 30,000 Traveller Magazine readers,

where Leeds scored very high ratings for entertainment and nightlife, food,

shopping and value for money.

Tourism is big business in Leeds, and brought nearly £735m into the local

economy in 2000, attracting 1.4m trips involving an overnight stay and

18.4m day trips. This in turn supported nearly 20,000 full time equivalent

jobs.

In addition:

* Dubbed the 'Knightsbridge of the North' in the Lonely Planet guide to

Britain; for the 2nd year running, Leeds ranks as one of the best three UK

cities for shopping, according to a survey carried out by Experian;

* This year Harewood House won the regional tourist board's award for best

Tourism Website of the Year and Thackray Medical Museum received an award

for best Small Visitor Attraction of the Year.

Last year Harewood House won the regional tourist board's award for best

large visitor attraction, and came second to the Eden Project in the

national England for Excellence awards.

* Visit the city and you can see international sports including

international cricket at Headingley stadium, Leeds Rhinos super league

rugby, Leeds Tykes premiership rugby union and premier football at Leeds

United;

* The acclaimed Leeds International Pianoforte Competition took place last

weekend attracting a world-wide audience. Finnish pianist Antti Siirala won

the competition.

* Leeds is the most popular university choice in the country.

* Leeds is the UK's fastest growing city, the largest legal centre and

outside London and one of the largest centres for financial and

professional services;

* In September 2003 three Leeds hotels were named among the top places to

stay in Britain. The Good Hotel Guide 2004 named its top choices in the

city as Malmaison, at Sovereign Quay, 42 The Calls, and Haley's Hotel in

Headingley.

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