Tour of Britain and Women's Tour generated £34 million in 2021, research reveals

1.3 million spectators also watched 14 days of racing across the two events

Wout van Aert Tour of Britain
(Image credit: SWpix)

The Tour of Britain and Women's Tour races in 2021 boosted the UK economy by £34 million, Frontline research has revealed.

Covering 75 towns and cities in the UK, more than 1.3 million spectators watched the 14 days of competition roadside in September and October, making up for lost time after the cancellation of the races in 2020 due to the pandemic.

The Tour of Britain generated close to £30 million of net economic benefit, while the Women's Tour produced around £5 million - an overall increase of almost £10 million from the 2019 editions of the events. 

Frontline's research also involved surveying fans, whereby 57 per cent said they were inspired to cycle more often after watching the races. 

Race organisers SweetSpot's Chief Executive, Hugh Roberts, said: “This year’s Tours were widely regarded as a huge success from a sporting point of view so it is tremendously rewarding to also have the economic success of the two races proven.

“Major sporting events like the Tour of Britain and Women’s Tour continue to provide a huge role in inspiring people and creating these economic benefits, and we are fortunate with road cycling to not be restricted to a stadium and able to reach communities large and small across the country, as we did in 2021, from Cornwall to Aberdeenshire, and Carmarthenshire to Suffolk.”

Since 2014, when SweetSpot launched the Women's Tour, events have generated more than £250 million net for the UK economy. 

Frontline Consultant Gillian Spooner said: “We are delighted to see such strong impact figures following a year of no events as a result of the pandemic. Findings show the importance and resilience of outdoor sporting events to the local and wider economies across Great Britain."

Organisers are now preparing for the 2022 Tour of Britain, which takes place on September 4-11. The route starts in Aberdeen following the success of the final stage of this year's race, with a Nottinghamshire midweek stage coming before an Isle of Wight final stage.

Wout van Aert could look to retain the title next year, after finishing ahead of Nils Eekhof and Gonzalo Serrano. 

Meanwhile, the 2022 Women’s Tour, which is a part of the UCI Women's WorldTour calendar, will start from Colchester on Monday 6 June and finishes on on Saturday 11 June. 

Demi Vollering won the event this year, with the 2022 edition coming just eight months after her win in the UK. 

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Staff Writer

Ryan is a staff writer for Cycling Weekly, having joined the team in September 2021. He first joined Future in December 2020, working across FourFourTwo, Golf Monthly, Rugby World and Advnture's websites, before making his way to cycling. After graduating from Cardiff University with a degree in Journalism and Communications, Ryan earned a NCTJ qualification to further develop as a writer.