UK to get £115m tourism boost from 2007 Tour de France27/10/2006 News
The figures were released by Transport for London as the full route of the Tour de France was unveiled at an international press conference in Paris.
The Grand Depart will be the biggest sporting event to be held in the Capital ahead of the Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2012 and will give Londoners a taste of what is to come in 2012.
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. As well as huge numbers of tourists lining the route, the race will showcase London and Kent to millions of television spectators around the world.
The Mayor of London, Ken Livingstone, said:
“We want 2007 to be the greatest Grand Depart the Tour has ever seen giving the riders a fantastic send off as they start a gruelling three weeks racing. The Tour will be great for London, showcasing the UK capital to the world, bringing huge amounts of visitors to London and encouraging more Londoners to take to two wheels. Cycling is increasing here more than any other city in Europe with a 72 per cent increase in the last five years. We want to use the excitement of the Grand Depart to help us persuade even more people to cycle, not just as a sport but as an everyday and non-polluting way of getting around the city.”
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 an 7.9 kilometre lap of central London, starting on Whitehall and taking in some of London’s most famous landmarks including 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 a variety of historic and contemporary sites including 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 before travelling to Kent. In Kent, the tour will pass thorough Dartford, Medway, Tunbridge Wells and Ashford before the stage finish in Canterbury.
The mirror might have crack’d after his face appeared on an eight-minute promo video during yesterday’s presentation of the 2007 route but Floyd Landis is still the winner of the 2006 Tour de France. Now off crutches, the world’s most famous Mennonite will soon start training for the 2007 Tour so expect fireworks in London should he sign on at the start â€“ and not just fireworks of the gunpowder variety…