Leeds Beckett research reveals Tour De Yorkshire’s boost to the economy
The race weekend from 29 April to 1 May saw more than two million spectators line the route and spend 20 per cent more than last year – smashing targets.
Accommodation spend was up 27.8 per cent year on year, and non-accommodation items such as food and drink, souvenirs and transport was up by 12.4 per cent.
The economic impact study, led by Dr Alexandra Kenyon, Senior Lecturer in the School of Events, Tourism & Hospitality at Leeds Beckett, showed that the majority of spectators were from Yorkshire (79 per cent) while 21 per cent were from elsewhere in the UK and abroad.
The race was televised in 178 countries and watched by some 11.4 million global TV viewers across Eurosport and ITV4 -double the amount in 2015.
Dr Kenyon, said: “In carrying out this research we asked spectators about their experiences at the Tour de Yorkshire. Many were so excited to be near professional cyclists, whilst others felt the atmosphere promoted Yorkshire. Others felt the race was something fun they could spend with their family and friends. Personally, I am looking forward to next year's Tour already!”
Sir Gary Verity, Chief Executive of Welcome to Yorkshire, added: “This is tremendous news for Yorkshire and the statistics speak for themselves - the public support for the Tour de Yorkshire is overwhelming.
“Even in the face of some not-so-welcoming weather, these statistics show that the Tour de Yorkshire is rapidly going from strength to strength.
“The great people of the county continued to support the race in their droves with over two million people lining the route, spending 20 per cent more than last year while TV viewing figures nearly doubled.
“This confirms that the people of Yorkshire have really taken the Tour de Yorkshire to their hearts and already we can’t wait for next year!”
A small number of 2017 start and finish locations have already been confirmed with Fox Valley (Sheffield), Halifax, Harrogate and Selby announced as hosts.
The Tour de Yorkshire has attracted critical acclaim from organisers and cyclists who have been staggered by the overwhelming public support for the race.
This year’s Tour de France boss, Christian Prudhomme, said Yorkshire was “fast becoming the heartland of cycling”, whilst Tour de Yorkshire winner, Thomas Voeckler, compared it to racing in a stage of the Tour de France.
At the end of this year’s race, Thomas from Team Direct Energie said: “When you see all the crowds on the road I am sure that in 20 to 30 years there will still be a Tour de Yorkshire.”