A MAJOR report into the financial impact of the Grand Départ of the Tour de France has confirmed that it has been a massive success for North Yorkshire.

It revealed that in total 2.3 million people watched the two Yorkshire stages of the Grand Départ, and while many were locals, almost half came to the region from other parts of the UK or overseas.

A survey also showed that among residents who watched the stages, 92 per cent strongly agreed that the event had been good for their area.

Councillor John Weighell, North Yorkshire County Council’s leader, said: “The Tour de France was momentous for North Yorkshire, not just in terms of bringing a world event to the county with such success and hundreds of thousands of spectators who lined our streets and country roads and the global television audience of millions.

“It was momentous because it brought together our communities, businesses and all our partner agencies who pulled together so effectively for the occasion and presented this beautiful county and all its facilities and attractions to the world. The beneficial effect is being built upon and has far-reaching consequences for the region, both socially and economically.”

Anna Lupton, of Carr House Farm bed and breakfast, in Ampleforth, said: “On the actual day of the Tour departing Leeds I got an email from a Dutch lady.

“She and her husband have stayed previously and had already booked for two days to come in September.

“However, on seeing the race it whet their appetite to stay longer and they extended their stay from two to four nights.

“Five Koreans detoured to Yorkshire on their way from London to Edinburgh and stayed overnight with us before heading into the Dales, a direct change of plan due to having watched footage of Le Tour.

“We have had numerous bookings now from Holland, France and Germany. I know that all this extra business is directly coming from the Tour.”