Doncaster welcomed more day visitors than Oxford, Cambridge and Bath last year.
The town was visited by 12.27 million people in 2012, eclipsing the likes of Shakespeare’s birth place Stratford-upon-Avon and Windsor, home of the Queen’s official residence Windsor Castle.
The figures were obtained through a day visitor survey by Visit England.
Coun Bob Johnson, cabinet member for tourism, said: “Doncaster’s tourism industry is a great success story for our borough and these latest figures testify to the appeal of our world-class events and attractions.
“By promoting Doncaster’s unique railway, racing and Roman heritage, as well as our historic markets, we are now attracting millions of visitors from across the globe. Tourism is worth hundreds of millions of pounds a year to Doncaster’s economy and has helped secure investment including new hotels and attractions.
“This has resulted in numerous accolades including Britain’s ‘Best’ and ‘Favourite Market’ as well as best ‘Place Branding’ campaign by a local authority in Britain. Our Tourist Information Centre has just been shortlisted for the ‘White Rose Awards’ by Welcome to Yorkshire.
“We have lots to shout about in Doncaster.”
Figures also show that the day trippers are spending more money in the town. In 2012, they spent £224 million in Doncaster - a two per cent increase on the previous year. The average spend per person was £18.26 - a 9.6 per cent increase.
This is compared to a spending decrease of nearly 20 per cent in Sheffield.
Popular attractions in the borough also include the Yorkshire Wildlife Park, the South Yorkshire Aircraft Museum and the new Virgin balloon rides.