The 2018 Tour de Yorkshire boosted the county’s economy by a massive £98 MILLION, independent research shows.
A record 2.6 million spectators lined the route over the four days of action between 3-6 May and overall spend was UP 54% on 2017 to £97,973,806.
Accommodation spend also increased 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 an unprecedented 190 countries and watched by 12.5 million global TV viewers, which represents a 29% 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%) while 21% were from elsewhere in the UK and abroad.
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.