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.

Leeds Tourism Boost Expected From Tour de France 2014

Leeds in Yorkshire, UK, will be hosting the initial stages of the 2014 Tour de France.

This is the first time Leeds is hosting Le Tour de France’s ‘Grand Depart’, and this is also the first time Le Tour will reach the north of England, compared to other visits to the UK when it had visited only the south.

Last time the tour, an annual bicycle race held in France, visited England was in 2007. The first stage of the bicycle tour will be held on July 5 and 6, 2014, and then the tour moves south for the next British stage, in London.

The Tour de France is viewed annually by around two billion people live on television, and the event will bring in a lot of bike enthusiasts to the beautiful and scenic environment of West Yorkshire, providing a boost to the tourism industry of the county.

British cyclists have recently tasted success in the event, with Bradley Wiggins being the first British rider to win Le Tour in 2012.

A statement by Welcome to Yorkshire, the official visiting guide to Yorkshire, said, ‘Yorkshire is rightly proud to be able to say it will host the Tour de France. The county is a heartland of the sport and over the next few pages we celebrate Yorkshire’s Grand Depart, Yorkshire’s cycling champions, the county’s iconic cycling landscapes and hopefully inspire more people to consider going uphill and down dale on two wheels in future.’

Gary Verity, the chief executive officer of Welcome to Yorkshire, said, ‘Today is a proud day for everyone involved in the bid and the county as a whole.

We are honoured that the race organisers have selected Yorkshire to be the host location of the 2014 Grand Depart.’

Europcar Announces Communications Campaign for Tour de France 2012

Europcar Groupe SA, a France-based car rental company, will be offering a new communications campaign for the Tour de France 2012 cycling event, starting on June 30, 2012.

The company is accompanying nine riders in Team Europcar and tour organisers, Amaury Sports Organisation (ASO), for the second year in the tournament, as the official car hire company.

Team Europcar riders have already lodged 22 wins and numerous podium places in the 2011 season, and the company is to provide communication across several media segments for audiences and sports lovers interested in following the tour and receiving instant information about Team Europcar. The communications campaign will be providing coverage of the event in eight countries, through social networks, public relations and commercial offers

Marine Boulot, the communication director for Europcar Group, said, ‘After an exceptional season in our first year as main sponsor, we would like to consolidate the brand’s visibility whilst enabling all our audiences to show their passion and love for Team Europcar. We have developed an ambitious communications programme. Customers, staff, fans, everyone will be able to live Team Europcar’s adventure during the Tour de France to the full.’

As part of its partnership with Tour de France, Europcar is also offering cars for ASO, and pavilions at the Village Depart, while Europcar Belgium is participating with a stand at the pre-Tour in Liege.

Europcar France will be hosting an online contest from June 30 to October 14, 2012, at www.europcar.com, offering its customers the opportunity to win a car rental for a week at €29 per day.