The 2018 Tour de Yorkshire boosted the Yorkshire’s economy by a £98m, independent research shows today.
Richmondshire businesses were among those who benefited with company bosses saying they saw an upturn in trade and exposure.
A record 2.6 million spectators lined the route over the four days of action between May 3 and 6 and overall spend was up 54 per cent on 2017.
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Tourismj agency Wecome to Yorkshire says accommodation spend also increased 49 per cent year on year and non-accommodation items such as food and drink, souvenirs and transport was up by 58 per cent.
The race was televised in an 190 countries and watched by 12.5 million global TV viewers, which represents a 29 per cent increase on 2017.
40 global broadcasters covered the action, up from 34 in 2017, and there were over 1,270 hours of TV coverage shown according to an independent survey by Nielson Sport 2018.
The economic impact study, conducted by independent research company GRASP and compiled by Leeds Beckett University, showed that the majority of roadside spectators were from Yorkshire (79 per cent) while 21 per cent were from elsewhere in the UK and abroad.
Sarah Brotherton, from Colburn based Yorkshire Dales Distillery, said: “The event was very beneficial and we got some great brand awareness from it.
“We sold out of our rhubarb gin, which featured a Mackenzie Thorpe painting on the label.
“There was a fantastic party atmosphere in the square until really late.”
Diane Howarth, from Cottage in the Dales, in Bioshopdale, added: “The Tour de Yorkshire has repeatedly had a very positive impact on our business.
“The route usually passes within 30 minutes of our cottages and returning guests book over a year in advance. This year a guest who had never visited the Yorkshire Dales before was persuaded to come by their partner after seeing the TV footage, and they have already booked to return again next year.
“And when I also told one of our regular cycling visitors that Yorkshire was hosting the UCI Road World Championships in 2019, they booked 10 nights in September even before the event dates were announced.”
The Constable Burton Estate also beneffited.
The estate’s Imogen Wyvill said: “The ‘Tour de Yorkshire’ puts the local area on a world stage in a way that was previously unimaginable.
“Our annual tulip festival coincided with the race weekend and the area was buzzing.
“We were lucky enough to feature on the incredible aerial coverage of the event and it all looked spectacular.
“Our festival certainly benefitted from an upsurge in visitors to the local area and we were proud to have flown the Tour de Yorkshire flag on the Constable Burton Estate.”
Sir Gary Verity, Chief Executive of Welcome to Yorkshire, said: “This is absolutely tremendous news for the Tour de Yorkshire and for the county as a whole.
“The prestige of hosting the world’s best riders is just one part of why we organise the Tour de Yorkshire but this is so much more than a bike race. The benefits it brings to Yorkshire innumerable.”
“These figures support the feedback we received from right along the race route. In Garforth, for instance, businesses reported two weeks’ earnings in the space of 24 hours, in Richmond, all 12 cash machines ran out of money on the day they hosted the start of stage three and in Beverley, cafes there told us they’d had their busiest day all year.
“It’s news like this which makes us so proud, and so passionate about building on these successes in the future.
“The Tour de Yorkshire is about bringing communities together as well and the way people turned out to support this year’s race was truly overwhelming. The county has taken the event thoroughly to its heart and we’ll work hard to ensure it keeps on going from strength to strength.”
The 2018 edition saw the men’s race grow from three stages to four and the Asda Tour de Yorkshire Women’s Race double in size from one day to two. Olympic champion Greg Van Avermaet triumphed in the men’s event while American star Megan Guarnier took the female title.
Next year’s race is set to attract its strongest-ever field as the sport’s star riders look to visit the county in preparation for the 2019 UCI Road World Championships which take place in September.