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Race already on for hotel rooms following Tour de France announcement
HOTELS and B&Bs in York have seen a rise in inquiries since the announcement that the Tour de France will visit the region in 2014.
Even as the Christmas rush reaches its height, potential visitors to the area have already contacted hotels in York for details on the event.
The announcement that Yorkshire had beaten Barcelona, Berlin and Venice to host the opening stage of the event in 2014 was made on Friday, and initial estimates predict a boost to York’s economy of more than £70 million.
Gary Verity, chief executive of Welcome to Yorkshire, said: “We have already had a number of people contact us saying they have taken booking inquiries, which is fantastic.
“We have also had a number of properties say they are purchasing bikes so they can capitalise on visitors coming to the area before, and during the event, which is a shrewd business move.”
Although the exact route will not be unveiled until January 17, at a joint press conference held in Paris and Leeds, Friday’s announcement confirmed that Leeds would host the Grand Depart on July 5.
The 180-kilometre route is expected to take in York, Leeds, Scarborough and the North York Moors, then head for a stage in the south of England before the Tour continues into France.
Mr Verity said: “A lot of people are starting to make inquiries with hotels because they won’t be able to get one for love or money nearer the event.
“All we know so far is that the Grand Depart will be in Leeds. We don’t know at the moment where it’s going, but York has positioned itself very strongly.”
• The Press contacted a number of hotels and bed and breakfasts in York, including the Royal York and Cedar Court Grand Hotel, who said it was difficult to say how many people had contacted them about the Tour, but confirmed they would be holding meetings in the new year to consider plans for the event.