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London and Kent to get a £115m boost from Tour de France

26 October 2006

Hospitality and tourism operators in London and Kent will receive a £115m boost when the Tour de France starts in the UK for the first time in July 2007, Transport for London (TfL) has predicted.

The figures were released as the full route of the world's premier cycling event was unveiled at a press conference in Paris today.

An estimated two million visitors from across the world are expected to visit London and Kent during the three days the Tour will spend in the UK from 6 to 8 July 2007.

James Bidwell, chief executive of Visit London, said: "Hosting the Grand Depart of the Tour de France is a fantastic opportunity for London.

"The route will pass by many top attractions and famous landmarks and gives us the chance to showcase this fabulous city to the world.

"We aim to maximise London's involvement in this high-profile event and look forward to welcoming the many visitors to London for what will undoubtedly be a memorable experience."

The three days of the Grand Depart include the Tour de France opening ceremony, Prologue and Stage One.

The Prologue on Saturday 7 July will be a 7.9km lap of central London, starting on Whitehall and passing the Houses of Parliament, Buckingham Palace and Hyde Park before finishing on the Mall.

Stage One on Sunday 8 July will start in central London, passing close to Big Ben, the London Eye, St Paul's Cathedral, the Gherkin and crossing Tower Bridge, close to City Hall.

The race will then travel through Bermondsey, Deptford, Greenwich and Erith in South-east London before travelling to Kent.

In Kent, the tour will pass thorough Dartford, Medway, Tunbridge Wells and Ashford before the stage finish in Canterbury.

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By Daniel Thomas

E-mail your comments to Daniel Thomas here.

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