Businesses told of benefits from Le Tour

Gary Verity and Pam Warhurst at the Calderdale Tourism Conference in Hebden Bridge.

Gary Verity and Pam Warhurst at the Calderdale Tourism Conference in Hebden Bridge.

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Dozens of business owners attended a Calderdale tourism conference where Welcome to Yorkshire chief executive Gary Verity explained the potential benefits of next year’s Tour de France.

The event at Hebden Bridge Town Hall linked to the Welcome to Yorkshire Information Roadshow and concentrated on developing Calderdale as a cycling destination.

Mr Verity said: “We wanted to explode some of the myths about the Tour de France, such as it will all be over in 30 seconds.

“We also want to tell businesses how they can make the most of the event for themselves, their communities and their families.”

Pam Warhurst, chair of the Calderdale Tourism Board, said: “It’s a fantastic opportunity to talk about what is probably the biggest tourism event that will happen in 2014.

“There will be 22 miles of Calderdale which will be featured all over the world.

“We had owners of bed and breakfasts and cafes, other business proprietors and cycling enthusiasts and we wanted to inform them what the Tour de France is about and how they can benefit.”

Calderdale stages part of the event on Sunday, July 6 next year and the race is expected to bring 160,000 extra visitors to the area.

Coun Nader Fekri (Labour & Co-op, Calder Ward) was also at the event, and said: “It’s up to us to promote our communities not just for the duration of the race but for the months leading up to it.

“This is a once in a lifetime chance to show off our towns and villages in front of a global audience of 3 billion people in 190 countries.”