Britain; and particularly Yorkshire; is in the grip of cycling fever. It is expected that between 2-5 million people will line the streets of the route during the weekend of 5th-6th July, when the Yorkshire stages of the Tour de France take place this summer.
Joining the locals and UK tourists will be plenty of visitors from overseas, including Belgium, The Netherlands and Luxembourg, where there has been huge interest in the Tour. Members of the Benelux media plan to cross the channel by ferry before driving to Leeds, Harrogate, York and Sheffield, and no doubt cycling fans among the general public will do the same.
Accommodation is apparently already in short supply – one enterprising cricket club near Holmfirth has opened up its grounds to campers to help meet demand (and make a bit of cash too, of course!). There’s still a real opportunity for hotels, B&Bs and other places to stay to capitalise on the arrival of the Tour by making people aware they exist and are available. It’s easy to do this via a website, and an investment in localising key information for foreign guests will yield great rewards.
The new batch of cycling heroes promoted by the London Olympics has inspired droves of Brits to take up recreational cycling and even better, has prompted many to incorporate cycling into their daily lives – Ride2Work and other schemes to promote this mode of transport have seen a huge uptake.
Hopefully Britain’s towns and cities will adapt to embrace cycling and make it safer for everyone on the roads – bike fever is certainly not going away any time soon!
10 March 2014 15:21