Tour of Britain 2023 – Economic impact revealed

1 Mar, 2024

The Tour of Britain, Britain’s premier men’s stage cycling race wowed spectators on the 5th stage of last year’s race when it started and finished along the sea front in Felixstowe generating over £1m of net economic benefit for the local economy according to an independent survey provided by race organisers, Sweetspot.

Returning to Suffolk for the first time since 2017, 96 riders from 16 international teams lined up at the start on Thursday 7th September to race through Suffolk for Stage 5 of the race.

After an absorbing and exciting race which took the competitors through Ipswich, along the Shotley peninsula, into East Bergholt, Hadleigh, Stowmarket, Framlingham, Leiston and Woodbridge, the stage culminated with former champion Wout van Aert taking an unforgettable victory to move into the race lead with just three days of the race remaining.

The stage was hosted by Suffolk Growth in partnership with Suffolk County Council, East Suffolk Council, Babergh and Mid Suffolk District Councils and supported by Motion Mapping, ScottishPower Renewables and GenX radio.

The 2023 Economic Impact Report’, based on findings from a web-based survey of 330 stage spectators, reveals that over 113,000 spectators lined the 192.4km route on the day, with an estimated 53% of these coming to see the event from outside of the local area and 89% pledging to visit the area again. The local hospitality industry also benefited with an estimated 9,500 attendees enjoying overnight stays and spending on average £166.60; whilst the average spend for day visitors was £45.50.

30% of spectators cycled to the event with 52% inspired to cycle more often as a direct result of watching the race, supporting Suffolk’s ambition to get more residents cycling for travel and recreation benefiting from the physical and mental wellbeing it can provide.

Six-hour live TV coverage of the stage plus a 1-hour highlights programme on ITV4 and Eurosport generated a combined audience of 447,000, showcasing the region to a global audience, and promoting the area as a destination of choice for tourism.

Richard Hunt, Suffolk Growth’s Strategic Lead for the Visitor Economy said:

“This report is a welcome confirmation of the benefits and positive impact of hosting major events in Suffolk. The Tour of Britain 2023, showcased Suffolk domestically and globally as a fantastic visitor destination, but equally the event presented a timely economic boost to the hospitality sector and an opportunity for communities to meet and celebrate along the route. Our partnership approach in Suffolk has built a positive reputation for successfully delivering high-quality cycling events and this in turn is enabling the growth of a vibrant cycling tourism market.”

Councillor Craig Rivett, Cabinet Member for Public Health and Public Protection said;

“It’s always a pleasure to host the Tour of Britain here in Suffolk. The race brings with it a feeling of pride and a real boost to residents, particularly to those who live along the route. It also showcases to a global audience; all that Suffolk has to offer.
“Sporting events like these create a great opportunity for communities to come together and celebrate.”

Cllr Caroline Topping, Leader of East Suffolk Council, said:

“The Tour of Britain is not just an event that brings some of the world’s greatest sportspeople to our county; it is an opportunity to celebrate Suffolk as a destination that welcomes huge numbers of visitors and provides a genuine economic boost to some fantastic local businesses. East Suffolk provided an amazing backdrop to the event.”

Councillor John Ward, Acting Leader of Babergh District Council, said:

“The Tour of Britain is one of the biggest free spectator events to come to our area and not only brings an amazing display of sporting prowess but also many benefits to our communities and economy.”

Councillor Andy Mellen, Leader of Mid Suffolk District Council, said:

“The Suffolk stage of last year’s Tour of Britain was a huge success and I am proud that as part of that, we got to showcase some of the amazing places that Mid Suffolk has to offer.

Download of copy of the infographic here

Additional Quotes:

Stuart Harris, Creative Director of Motion Mapping, said:

“It was great to be part of this national event on our doorstep and to have the opportunity to work with the community and give back to where we’re based. It was great fun to be able to light up some of Suffolk’s most famous landmarks with the Tour of Britain images”

Edward Rees, Community Liaison Officer for ScottishPower Renewables, said:

“Suffolk is at the heart of our efforts to power a cleaner and greener future and it’s fantastic to see the Tour of Britain deliver such a positive economic impact for the region. This shows the very real and tangible difference events like this can make and we’re proud to have been part of the local community supporting this sporting spectacle.”

James Hazell MD GenX Radio, said:

“The Tour of Britain was one of the highlights of our broadcasting year, giving us ample opportunity to showcase Suffolk to a wider audience. Our live reporting along the route garnered high listener interest and our Roadshow at the start enclosure facilitated lots of editorial to provide a full flavour of a spectacular day that we were proud to be Media Partners of.”