Following the positive economic impact study by the Canadian Sport Tourism Alliance that demonstrated last year's world road cycling championships in Hamilton, Canada, generated turnover of $31.1m for the city, officials with the Dodge Tour de Georgia in the US are projecting a $20-$30m boost to the Georgia economy.

Doubly official: cycle-sport is good for city coffers

The value provided to its charitable beneficiary, the Georgia Cancer Coalition, is expected to surpass $2.5m, doubling the number from 2003.

The 2004 Dodge Tour de Georgia, now in only its second year, will visit 11 host cities in six days, from Tuesday, April 20th to Sunday, April 25th.

128 professionals are booked to take part win seven stage races.

From just the impact of media, officials, teams, and support personnel, local communities will see an immediate impact from 3000 room nights and over 7000 meals, said Stan Holm, executive director of the Dodge Tour de Georgia.

"The Dodge Tour de Georgia showcases the best professional cyclists from North America and around the world, but also entertains a significant number of media and visitors, and employs a wide variety of Georgia vendors. With Lance Armstrong racing, we anticipate 750,000 to one million spectators for this one week," said Holm.

Last year the Dodge Tour de Georgia attracted over 250,000 spectators.

The event is owned and operated by the Georgia Partnership for Economic Development (GPED), a non-profit foundation of the Georgia Department of Industry, Trade and Tourism. Tourism is Georgia’s second largest industry behind agriculture.

Janice Cannon, Deputy Commissioner of Tourism for the state of Georgia, said:

"If just 10 percent of the estimated one million fans visit from out of state, and they stay just two nights, we know the immediate impact to the Georgia economy will be $20m. This is based on research done by the Travel Industry Association of America that quantifies an average visitor to Georgia spends $109 per overnight visit. And the best part is that our economy and our local communities feel the impact immediately, not later."

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