Manchester has been awarded the title of Best International Destination by the Spanish edition of travel bible Conde Nast Traveller.

The award was made at the magazine’s annual Gold List ceremony in Madrid.

One of 21 prizes awarding the very best in travel and tourism and voted for by Conde Nast Traveller Spain readers, Manchester’s win was one of the most significant of the night as the city faced stiff competition in its category from a long list of 16 other international destinations including Bangkok, Mexico City, Istanbul, and Vienna.

The award follows work undertaken by Marketing Manchester and VisitBritain to promote the city in Spain over recent years.  Around 64,000 visitors come to Manchester from Spain each year.  This figure has grown by 36% since 2015.

Commenting on the award, Sheona Southern, manging director of Marketing Manchester, said: “This is a fantastic accolade for Manchester and one that we are very proud to receive, especially as it is the result of a public vote and comes at a time when we have been increasing the work we do in Spain via marketing campaigns, media engagement and travel trade training.

“Manchester is changing rapidly and now has much more to offer international tourists – increasingly varied tours and attractions, bigger and more frequent music and sporting events, world-class exhibitions and performance at our cultural venues, and a thriving food and drink scene – and it is fantastic to see that our Spanish visitors now view our city as one to rival world-class destinations like Bangkok, Mexico City, and Vienna.

“We used to see Spanish visitors mainly visiting Manchester to watch their team play at the Etihad or Old Trafford, but now we see them exploring our neighbourhoods, undertaking tours, eating in top restaurants, discovering our cultural offer and enjoying our nightlife. It’s a delight to see those changing travel habits, which are gradually being replicated across all of our key European markets.”

pictured: Andy Parkinson from Marketing Manchester and British Ambassador to Spain HMA Simon Manley accept the award in Madrid.