Hosting the Giro d’Italia’s Grande Partenza or ‘Big Start’ is a tremendous coup for Northern Ireland.
Not only is it a major sporting occasion which attracts cycling’s elite, it is a statement of confidence in this place and our ability to stage world class events.
Following on from the success of the 2012 Irish Open and last year’s World Police and Fire Games, the Giro d’Italia will once again give our beautiful landscapes the kind of international shop window that other regions can only dream of.
A lot of work has gone in to ensuring that we make the most of this wonderful opportunity to show the world what Northern Ireland has to offer as a tourism destination.
Pictures of the race will be shown by international media outlets to an international audience of around 125 million households.
Our tourism industry will be in full swing during the event and hotels, pubs, restaurants, cafés and food producers can expect brisk trade in looking after 140,000 visitors, an anticipated 42,000 of them from out of state.
The Northern Ireland Tourist Board (NITB) expects the extra business stimulated by the Giro d’Italia to generate £2.5 million for the economy, together with some £10 million worth of international media coverage for Northern Ireland.
Hopefully, this coverage will inspire viewers to come to Northern Ireland to see our beautiful scenery for themselves.
Right across the routes, towns and villages are getting ready to ‘go pink’ for the Giro d’Italia and are planning fun-filled events that all the family can enjoy before and after the ‘caravan’ and the race pass through.
Over 200 top cyclists will push themselves to the physical and mental limit as they ‘fight for pink’ and the honour of wearing the coveted winner’s jersey – and we can all have front seats as the drama unfolds.
Let’s all be ‘part of the start’ and enjoy the colour, passion and spectacle of this world class event.