Tour put Yorkshire on world map, says advertising guru

Sir Martin Sorrell
Sir Martin Sorrell
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SIR Martin Sorrell, the head of the world’s biggest advertising group, has told The Yorkshire Post that the successful hosting of 
the Tour de France could transform global perceptions of Yorkshire.

The chief executive of WPP said the region will be viewed around the world as a “better, more friendly, beautiful and engaged” place after an extraordinary weekend which saw millions of people turn out to support the Grand Départ.

He said the successful send-off “does demonstrate the power of international events in changing images and perceptions and motivating people” and added that Yorkshire did “very, very well, an added dimension”.

WPP calculated that the positive national and international media coverage would cost an equivalent of £31m in advertising spend. The total cost to the taxpayer of hosting the three UK stages of the Tour is put at £27m.

Tom Vosa, chief economist at Yorkshire Bank, said: “Given the difficulties that regions outside London and the South East have in attracting international tourism, in effect the Yorkshire region enjoyed an extended television advert to a global audience to showcase the beauty of the landscape and remind international visitors, who tend to fly into London and the South East, to take the train northwards.”

Andrew McPhillips, group economist at Yorkshire Building Society, said the immediate economic impact of the Grand Départ will have been huge, particularly for those businesses located along the route.

‘We’ll be back’ message: Page 2; Region’s image moves up a gear: Business Page 1.