The 2017 Tour de Yorkshire boosted the economy by almost £64 million, independent research shows today. The race weekend from 28-30 April saw a record 2.2 million spectators line the route and spend 8% more than last year.
Accommodation spend was up 6.5% year on year and non-accommodation items such as food and drink, souvenirs and transport was up by 9%.
The race was televised in 180 countries and watched by some 9.7 million global TV viewers across Eurosport and ITV4. 34 global broadcasters covered the action, up from 22 in 2016 and there were over 140 hours of TV coverage shown, up 178% 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%) while 14% from elsewhere in the UK and abroad.
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.”
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.”