Yorkshire riding high on Tour de France coup

The county of Yorkshire in the UK is already benefiting from its coup in being chosen as the start point for this year’s Tour de France cycle race, by reporting an impressive increase in its tourism figures for the first part of the year.

In January and February, Yorkshire shrugged off the effects of particularly hard winter weather to record the highest year-on year rise for tourism spend in the country. The county’s tourism revenue grew by 47 percent for the period.

Figures from the Great Britain Travel Survey (GBTS) also reveal that trips to Yorkshire increased by 6.6 percent during the period, while overnight stays increased by 24.2 percent. By comparison, the GBTS survey also revealed that the national average increase for trips to destinations within England for the same period was just 0.9 percent, with overnight stays up by 7.3 percent and visitor spend up by an average of 9.2 percent.

Welcome to Yorkshire is the organisation responsible for promoting tourism in the county, and its chief executive, Gary Verity, said, ‘Stats like these are testament to the hard work and determination of our tourism businesses, coupled with the innovative work we do to market Yorkshire. These encouraging figures follow our announcement that we had secured the Tour de France – and the subsequent international media coverage it brought for Yorkshire, thrusting it into the spotlight once more.’

He added, ‘Yorkshire is now recognised as one of the leading tourist destinations in Europe and our summer guide is just one of a number of initiatives we are leading to build on this momentum.’

Le Tour’s Grand Depart, stage 1, takes place in Leeds on Saturday July 5 and follows a route to Harrogate. Stage 2 leaves York on Sunday July 6, and finishes in the city of Sheffield.