THE inaugural Tour de Yorkshire cycle race generated £50 million for the region’s economy, according to figures from event promoter Welcome to Yorkshire.
Spectators spent £20.5 million on accommodation and a further £29.5 million on items including food, transport and souvenirs.
One in five of the people watching were from outside the region although fewer than one per cent were from overseas.
Almost all the people surveyed felt hosting the event had been good for their town.
Sir Gary Verity, chief executive of Welcome to Yorkshire, said: “These are tremendous figures for the first edition of the Tour de Yorkshire. To generate £50 million on race weekend and attract many visitors to the county just demonstrates how popular cycle racing in Yorkshire has become and how valuable hosting the races is to our regional economy.
“Preparations for next year’s race are coming on well and we can’t wait to announce the full route on December 9.
“The race will be a fantastic event for spectators and will be one that the best riders in the world want to compete in.”
The second running of the Tour de Yorkshire will take place from April 29 to May 1 next year.
Although the route has yet to be announced Welcome to Yorkshire has already confirmed Middlesbrough, Settle, Scarborough, Otley, Doncaster and Beverley will be the locations for the starts and finishes of the six stages.
Alongside the three-day race for men, there will be a single stage event for women on April 30.
The Tour de Yorkshire was created as part of the legacy of Yorkshire’s hosting of the opening stages of the Tour de France in 2014.
Welcome to Yorkshire had hoped the 2016 event would stretch over four days and had lobbied for the race’s classification to be improved.
However, the approach was rejected by British Cycling which argued it would be premature to expand the race after just one year.
It was recently revealed Welcome to Yorkshire suffered a £1 million loss in the 2014/15 financial year, largely associated with the hosting of the Tour de France.
The organisation was left with unsold merchandise for the event worth £750,000 after the event.
Welcome to Yorkshire has said it is on track to finish the current financial year in surplus.