Tour delivers £64m boost to region’s economy

Date:29th April 2017.                                  Picture James Hardisty
TDY 2017 Stage 2..........Second race of the day the Mens race starting from Tadcaster. Pictured Hundreds of residents and visitors to Tadcaster, walking over the restored Tadcaster bridge after the start of the mens race.
Date:29th April 2017. Picture James Hardisty TDY 2017 Stage 2..........Second race of the day the Mens race starting from Tadcaster. Pictured Hundreds of residents and visitors to Tadcaster, walking over the restored Tadcaster bridge after the start of the mens race.
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Independent research has shown that the 2017 Tour de Yorkshire boosted the economy by almost £64million.

And Wetherby’s volunteer visitor group, which helped steer a special race attractions, said they had noticed increased trade on the weekend and afterwards.

Cindy Bentley of Welcome to Wetherby said: “Our Tour in the Town event was extremely successful with very large numbers of visitors and local people spending the day in the town.

“We thought that people would just come to watch the race and then go home, but they didn’t. Perhaps having a big screen helped to keep them in the town.

“Pubs and eating places were the main beneficiaries as we had deliberately avoided having mobile food/drink wagons available.

“Although most of our local shops didn’t do particularly well on the actual day of the Tour, we know that visitors were impressed by the range of independent traders in the town and we have no doubt that they will return, thus benefitting our local economy.”

The race weekend from April 28-30 saw a record 2.2 million spectators line the route and spend eight per cent more than last year.

Accommodation spend was up 6.5 per cent year on year and non-accommodation items such as food and drink, souvenirs and transport was UP by 9 per cent.

The race was televised in 180 countries and watched by some 9.7 million global TV viewers across Eurosport and ITV4.

And 34 global broadcasters covered the action, up from 22 in 2016 and there were over 140 hours of TV coverage shown, up 178 per cent on 2015 according to an independent survey by Nielson Sport 2017.

The economic impact study, carried out by Leeds Beckett University, showed that the majority of spectators were from Yorkshire (86 per cent) while 14 per cent came from elsewhere in the UK and abroad.

Sir Gary Verity, Chief Executive of Welcome to Yorkshire, said: “This is marvellous news for Yorkshire and the public support this year was truly overwhelming.

“Since we launched the race in 2015 it has grown year on year and is now regarded as one of the biggest and best supported races in the sport.

“People have really taken the Tour de Yorkshire to their hearts and we’re working hard to get it extended to four days in 2018 so we can to bring it to more parts of the county and generate even greater benefits.”

Tadcaster saw huge crowds gather for the start of the men’s Stage 2 and women’s race from the reopened River Wharfe Bridge, on the Saturday and staged events throughout the day, to keep crowds entertained.

Boston Spa also put on a show for the event, with stalls and games, as it passed through the village on its way to the stage end at Harrogate.

This year’s race attracted a stellar field and Welcome to Yorkshire are confident of enticing more big names for the next two editions as the world’s best riders look to visit the county in preparation for the 2019 UCI Road World Championships.

The word is already out on the unprecedented reception the riders receive when they compete in Yorkshire, and 2017 winner Serge Pauwels said: “I’ve cycled all around the world and my favourite three crowds are for the Classics in Belgium, those in the Basque Country, and here in Yorkshire.

“Over the winter my team wanted me to take part in the Tour de Romandie to warm up for the Tour de France but I said no, I want to do the Tour of Yorkshire.”