Published on : Tuesday, January 7, 2014
Tourist bosses revealed they were already “feeling the excitement and enthusiasm” about the Grand Depart event from visitors and tourism businesses across the city.
Helen Grant, Minister for Sport and Tourism, said plans for the Grand Depart were progressing well. She said: “Hosting the beginning of the biggest bike race in the world will bring a great tourism win for those areas and will further cement Britain’s love for the sport of cycling.”
Sir Rodney Walker, chair of the organising body, TDF2014HUB Ltd, said: “A huge amount has been acquired since it was announced that England would host the world’s most prestigious cycle race in 2014. This is thanks to the hard work and collaborative approach of all the partners involved. We are on track to deliver a spectacular sporting event in six months that the country can be proud of. However, we are not complacent as there is still a long road ahead and many challenges.”
The 101st running of Le Tour will start in Leeds on July 5 with a 190km stage taking the riders to Harrogate. Stage II will start from York with the riders tackling a 200km stage with climbs including Holme Moss on the way to Sheffield.
It is estimated the Grand Depart will boost the economy by £100million and bring an extra 180,000 visitors to York across the weekend of the race. Broadcast in more than 188 countries worldwide it will provide the city a chance to be seen on a global stage.
Kate McMullen, head of Visit York, said feedback indicated that hotel bookings were steady. “We’re receiving lots of inquiries from visitors who are coming into the Visitor Information Centre looking ahead to find out more about the Tour de France coming to York,” she said.
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