Tour de Yorkshire pumped Â£60m into economy say organisers
This year's Tour de Yorkshire cycle race injected nearly Â£60m into the region's economy, organiser Welcome To Yorkshire said today.
The tourism body said spending on accommodation was up 27 per cent on the previous year’s inaugural race, while spending on food, drink, souvenirs and transport was up by 12 per cent.
The race, staged over a rainy spring Bank Holiday holiday weekend, saw more than two million spectators line the route. A TV audience of 11.4m in 178 countries saw 130 hours of coverage on Eurosport and ITV4.
Around 20 per cent of spectators had travelled from outside Yorkshire to watch the event.
Welcome to Yorkshire chief executive Sir Gary Verity said: “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.
“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.”
According to figures released by Welcome to Yorkshire and analysed by Leeds Beckett University, spectators spent nearly £26m on accommodation this year, compared with £20m in 2015.
A further £33m was spent this year on food, drink, transport and other items - £4m up on the previous year.
No breakdown of the figures was available, but many spectators gravitated to Beverley, Settle, Otley, Doncaster, Middlesbrough, and Scarborough, which hosted starts and finishes during the three-day event.
Next year, Halifax, Harrogate, Sheffield and Selby have so far been confirmed as host centres.
The Tour de Yorkshire was conceived as a legacy event of the Grand Depart of the Tour de France, which Yorkshire hosted in July 2014.
Tour de France boss Christian Prudhomme said Yorkshire was “fast becoming the heartland of cycling” while Tour de Yorkshire winner Thomas Voeckler compared it to racing in a stage of Tour de France.