The Tour of Flanders cycling event in Belgium is boosting the Flemish economy by up to €40m ($44.8m), it has been revealed.
Belgian newspaper De Tijd, citing a study from the University of Antwerp, said the economic impact of the event is somewhere between €30m and €40m, with the number of spectators changing year on year.
The university’s study considered the number of fans; VIPs and hospitality; riders, teams and their entourages; sponsors, media and TV rights; the wider contribution of the Flanders Classics and the Ronde Cyclo as the six major cash flows driving the Tour of Flanders. The Ronde Cyclo is an accompanying race for fans and tourists that attracts 16,000 participants.
The 2019 Tour of Flanders was held on April 7, with riders travelling from Antwerp to Oudenaarde. Italy’s Alberto Bettiol emerged as the winner. The study took into account the cost of organising the event, with Antwerp and Oudenaarde each paying €400,000 to host the start and finish, respectively.
The report revealed that almost 100,000 extra people visited Antwerp last year over the weekend of the event. This included nearly 30,000 fans from other countries, including the Netherlands, UK and Germany. According to report, they spent a collective amount of €6m.
Oudenaarde attracted 120,000 fans, two in 10 of which were foreigners. The spend for the whole event totalled €16.5m on food and drinks, €2m on accommodation and €3m on transport.
The report added that VIPs contribute around €2m to €3m, with media and sponsorship income priced at €5m to €6m – a figure that does not include television rights.