Who needs sunshine when you have culture? Rainy Manchester is Europe’s sixth fastest-growing tourist hotspot

By Dean Wilkins

Football, history and culture is driving Manchester into the open arms of tourists and turning the city into England’s fastest-growing holiday destination.

With two of the world’s biggest sporting clubs in Manchester United and City, thousands of fans already flock to the city on a weekly basis – and now that journey is paying off as memorable Manchester attracts many travellers.

Worldwide visitors have ranked their time spent in cities and what makes them more likely to return, as well as judging the city’s hospitality, price, varying culture and things to do.

And with just two years until the Commonwealth Games, Glasgow is stealing the show as the UK’s fastest growing hotspot – ranking 6th biggest in Europe, just one place above Manchester.

A spokesman for TripAdvisor, the travel website who carried out the study, said: “All winners should be incredibly proud of their award.

“Not only has traveller interest in their destination increased, but each city has also seen a significant rise in positive feedback on their hotels, restaurants and things to do.

“With the hangover of the ‘Jubilympics’ set to hit in 2013, it’s great to see four UK destinations recognised in what may mean a great boost to the UK’s tourism industry.”

Four British cities made the top ten list, and Liverpool completes the list, joining Manchester in the North West.

Belfast takes eighth place – and leading the way is Ukraine’s Kiev (1st), Russian capital Moscow (2nd) and North Italian city Turin (3rd).

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