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2019 Vuelta shown a social and touristic success in independent survey

Independent study by University of Murcia highlights social and touristic benefits for localities that hosted last year's Vuelta a Espana.

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Last summer’s Vuelta a España has proven a success among local communities hosting the route.

An independent study University of Murcia, released Tuesday, investigated the social and tourism impact of the 2019 Vuelta on local communities hosting the race. Over 90 percent of respondents agreed that the Vuelta’s passage would boost the region’s national presence, promote the local economy, and encourage sport among youth residents.

The survey of 5,626 questionnaires (4,585 by residents and 1,041 by tourists) were completed before, during and after the event, which ran for 3 weeks from August 24, 2020 and was won by Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma).

The main findings from the study are summarized below:

Social Perception

  • 92.0 percent of respondents were in favor of the municipality investing public funds in order to host the race.
  • 90.7 percent considered that the race would encourage tourism to the locality.
  • 90.3 percent believed it would have positive repercussions on local businesses.
  • 95.0 percent believed the Vuelta would help give their locality a greater national presence.
  • 93.3 percent felt that it would improve their locality’s international image.
  • 92.7 percent felt that the race would help to promote sports among its young residents.

Touristic impact

  • Trips to the race were mainly family trips (70 percent) and involved traveling an average of 151km.
  • 92 percent of visitors were willing to return to the locality they had visited.
  • 94 percent would recommend that their family and friends go visit the places they discovered thanks to the race.

A full download of the tourism impact report is available here.

The 2020 Vuelta a España is still on track to run from August 14, and is committed to maintaining its traditional 21-stage format. Space on the late-season cycling calendar is currently at a premium as race organizers look to re-schedule races that were due to run in spring, though the UCI has stated that races that are able to honor their existing start dates would be given priority in the elbowing for calendar slots.

Spain has seen some of the strongest lockdowns in Europe in the struggle to contain the coronavirus pandemic, with riders forbidden from training outside. Spain has been one of the European nations hardest hit by the virus in recent weeks, though a glimmer of light has appeared this week thanks to a downward trend in daily death tolls.