Tour de Yorkshire injects £98m into economy

Tour de Yorkshire

The 2018 Tour de Yorkshire boosted the county’s economy by about £98 million, according to an economic impact study conducted by independent research company GRASP and compiled by Leeds Beckett University.

The research showed a record 2.6 million spectators lined the route over four days between May 3 and May 6 and overall spend was up 54% on 2017 to £97.9 million.

Accommodation spend was up 49% year on year and non-accommodation items such as food and drink, souvenirs and transport was up by 58%.

The race was televised in 190 countries and watched by 12.5 million global TV viewers, a 29% increase on 2017.

The majority of roadside spectators were from Yorkshire (79%) while 21% were from elsewhere in the UK and abroad.

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.

“We don’t just organise the Tour simply for the prestige of hosting the world’s best riders, we do so because of the innumerable benefits it brings to Yorkshire.

“The 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, while 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 that 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 won 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.