The Tour de Yorkshire 2016 boosted the economy by nearly £60 MILLION independent research shows today.
The race weekend from April 29 to May 1, saw more than two million spectators line the route and spend 20% more than last year – smashing targets.
Accommodation spend was UP 27.8% year on year, and non-accommodation items such as food and drink, souvenirs and transport was UP by 12.4%.
The race was televised in 178 countries and watched by some 11.4 million global TV viewers across Eurosport and ITV4 which is double the amount in 2015.
There was over 130 hours of TV coverage broadcast globally: 165% MORE than in 2015 due to new broadcasters and longer broadcast coverage, according to an independent survey by Repucom.
Sir Gary Verity, Chief Executive of Welcome to Yorkshire, said: “This is tremendous news for Yorkshire and the statistics speak for themselves - the public support for the Tour de Yorkshire is overwhelming.
“Even in the face of some not so welcoming weather, these statistics show that the Tour de Yorkshire is rapidly going from strength to strength.
“The great people of the county continued to support the race in their droves with over two million people lining the route, spending 20% more than last year while TV viewing figures nearly doubled.
“This confirms that the people of Yorkshire have really taken the Tour de Yorkshire to their hearts and already we can’t wait for next year!”
The economic impact study carried out by Leeds Beckett University, showed that the majority of spectators were from Yorkshire (79%) while 21% from elsewhere in the UK and abroad.
A small number of 2017 start and finish locations have already been confirmed with Fox Valley (Sheffield), Halifax, Harrogate and Selby announced as hosts.
The Tour de Yorkshire has attracted critical acclaim from organisers and cyclists who have been staggered by the overwhelming public support for the race.
This year Tour de France boss Christian Prudhomme said Yorkshire was “fast becoming the heartland of cycling” while Tour de Yorkshire winner Thomas Voeckler compared it to racing in a stage of Tour de France.
At the end of this year’s race, Thomas from Team Direct Energie said: “When you see all the crowds on the road I am sure that in 20 to 30 years there will still be a Tour de Yorkshire.”