The Tour de France and your business

If you’re a Yorkshire-based business, you probably can’t have missed the news that the Tour de France is coming to Yorkshire in July 2014. ‘Le Tour’ will spend two days traversing Yorkshire, from Leeds to Harrogate via the Dales on Day 1, and from York to Sheffield on Day 2.

Unless you’re a tourism-based business, you may think ‘So what? The tour’s unlikely to help my business.’ However, it’s estimated that 2 million+ visitors will bring in excess of £100m to the Yorkshire economy over the two days of the tour. They will spend this money not just in various hotels, B&Bs and restaurants, but also in a wide-range of other local businesses and attractions. The tourists will, of course, wish to see the race (that’s what they’re coming for after all), but they are also likely to holiday in the area once the 2 days of the tour are over, and they will spend their hard-earned cash on a variety of goods and services whilst they are here. That said, aside from the marketing hype spread by the wonderful people at Welcome to Yorkshire, tourism-based businesses are likely to benefit most.

If you do have a tourism-based business, then you may have already started to take bookings for the time around the tour. With 2 million+ visitors expected to come in to the area, it’s likely that accommodation nearest to the route will be booked-up first, with tourists booking accommodation progressively further from the main tour route.
You should therefore ensure that your website is in good order, and mention ‘Le Tour’ in your pages, perhaps with some information about where the route runs relative to your business. It would also be a very good idea to link to the ‘Official’ sites, such as letour.yorkshire.com and www.letour.fr

You should also make sure that your website is as ‘visible’ as possible. Try to get local tourist information sites to link to your business, as well as listing your site on Accommodation websites such as ownersdirect.co.uk, cottages4you.co.uk or www.iknow-yorkshire.co.uk
Also, don’t forget user-opinion sites such as TripAdvisor. Ask guests to review your accommodation when they have stayed with you if they’ve had a pleasant stay. A good review is very encouraging to potential guests. And don’t worry if you do happen to get some negative comments. As long as most of the reviews are good, readers won’t take notice of one or two negative ones. When I read through Tripadvisor, I tend to take bad reviews with a pinch of salt, as well as the over-enthusiastic ones!

As it gets nearer to the time, you may wish to tweet about your business and any special offers that you’re running. You could use hashtags such as #tdf, #tourdefrance, #tdf2014 or #yorkshire to help get your message out there. Social media could be of enormous benefit in the months between now and the start of le Tour, especially as we get nearer the time.

For further encouragement, here are some facts about the tour:

  • The Tour covers approximately 3,600 Kms, and lasts for 3 weeks
  • A TV audience of over 3 Billion people watch the Tour de France every year, in over 188 countries
  • 2000 journalists from 35 countries attend the tour every year
  • 5000 hotel rooms are needed each night, just for the teams, tour personnel and media
  • The Tour attracts 12 million spectators along the route in a typical race
  • On average, spectators will travel 130Km toy see a stage of The Tour
  • They spend on average 6 hours at a time on the roadside
  • The Tour last visited England in 2007. 2 million people turned out over 2 days, and it brough an estimated £88 million to the south-east economy
  • Bradley Wiggins became the first British rider to win The Tour in 2012

Above all, if you would like help with preparing your website, linking to accommodation sites, or need help with any aspect of marketing, don’t forget that we’re here to help!

Here are some of our clients who provide accommodation in the area:

www.gallerybedandbreakfast.co.uk
www.thiefholecottages.co.uk