The fifth running of the Tour de Yorkshire cycle race, staged during the May downpours, saw overall spend fall by 39 per cent, according to an “economic impact” study to be published today.
Total spending amounted to just under £60 million - down from £98 million in 2018 and £63.5 million in 2017.
However the weather prompted an increase in stay-at-home participation, with some 28m viewers watching the live TV coverage in 190 countries. The figure is more than double that of last year.
Research conducted independently and compiled by Leeds Beckett University indicates that 1.9m spectators lined the routes over the four days of racing. Eight in 10 were from Yorkshire.
Welcome to Yorkshire’s commercial director, Peter Dodd, said: “We’re really pleased with these numbers, especially the record-breaking TV viewing figures. There is no other event which showcases all four corners of the county to a worldwide audience on a scale like this.”
He said the “challenging” weather had been a factor in the revenue reduction, but added: “It’s clear from the increased press figures that interest in our races, both at home and abroad, has never been higher.”
Christian Prudhomme, director of the Tour de France, said the Yorkshire event had “come of age this year”.
He added: “The crowds on the roadside were absolutely incredible once again, especially given the seriously challenging weather we experienced during three of the four days of action.
“The way communities come together to celebrate them every year is a joy to behold – it’s a real carnival atmosphere and highlights the pride people have in their county.”