A multimillion-pound boost to the Yorkshire hospitality economy has been predicted following today's announcement of the route of the 2014 Tour de France.
Due to set off from Leeds on 5 July, the 101st edition of the world's most prestigious cycle race will spend two days in Yorkshire, with the opening 190km Grand Depart stage ending in Harrogate, the home town of British contender Mark Cavendish's mother.
The second day in Yorkshire will see the cyclists take on the 198 km hilly route from York to Sheffield, before the race moves south for the Cambridge to London stage prior to heading to France.
On the first day, the 4,000 competitors will ride four miles through the 22,000 acre Swinton Estate, where the four-AA-red star, 31-bedroom Swinton Park hotel is situated.
Felicity Cunliffe Lister, owner of Swinton Park is already registering strong interest in the event from domestic and international travellers keen to experience both the route and the wider destination. "There is no doubt the Yorkshire economy will benefit to the tune of millions of pounds from this event with extra spending on hotel accommodation, restaurants, pubs and other tourist attractions," she said.
"We are already experiencing high demand to stay at Swinton Park in the period before, during and after the event, and I expect there will be a long lasting tourist legacy from the Grand Depart."
In a typical year's race, the Tour de France attracts 12 million spectators along the route and 1,200 hotel rooms are reserved each night for the teams, staff, press and tour personnel. Spectators spend an average of six hours at the roadside watching the tour.
The last time the tour visited England was in 2007 when it raced from London to Kent. Two million people turned out over the two days and it's estimated it boosted the south-east economy by £88m.
Mark, Cunliffe-List, Baron of Masham, is responsible for the running of the Swinton Estate, which has been in his family's ownership since the 1880s. He and his wife Felicity converted the family home into a hotel in 2001.