Skipton MP Julian Smith is urging communities and businesses across Craven to make the most of the world’s largest annual sporting event coming to the area in 2014.

The route will pass through various parts of the district over the weekend of July 5 and 6 and is expected to bring a huge boost to the economy.

Mr Smith said: “I am delighted that the Tour de France organisers have recognised the unique beauty of my constituency. I have been working hard to ensure as many parts as possible are showcased.

“With a worldwide television audience of 3.5 billion people in 188 countries, this opportunity to promote where we live to tourists and where we work to businesses is too good to miss. Skipton and Ripon will benefit massively from this event and will give the Tour de France a great welcome.

“We saw how big the Olympic Torch Relay was last year but the Tour de France is on a much bigger scale. Each night of the Tour, 1,200 hotel rooms are booked and 2,000 journalists travel with the race along its route.

“In the coming months, I will be travelling the route the Tour de France will take on a special Doorstep Tour and working with communities and businesses to make sure we explore every opportunity for promoting and showcasing our area to a worldwide audience.”

Craven District Council leader Coun Chris Knowles-Fitton has also give a warm welcome to the announcement of the route.

“It is truly thrilling news that the Tour de France cycle race will pass through Craven. To have the biggest annual sporting event in the world come through our district will be a once in a lifetime opportunity to showcase the beautiful landscape that is unique to this outstanding area.

“ The tens of thousands of spectators who will line the route to watch this amazing spectacle will give an economic boost to our district which will be incalculable. The Tour will bring an even greater sense of excitement and feeling of goodwill than accompanied the Olympic Torch relay, which itself engendered a unique feeling of togetherness and enthusiasm not seen before in Craven.”

Moira Smith, visitor manager of the Bolton Abbey Estate, said: “I am absolutely thrilled that one of the world’s biggest sporting event is coming to Yorkshire and delighted that people will be able to visit Bolton Abbey.” There was also a welcome from Doug McLellan, who runs the Village Stores in Kettlewell.

“I think it is brilliant. I am looking forward to it. It will do an enormous amount for Yorkshire as a whole and the Dales in particular.

“I think it will bring a lot of people to the area both before and after the event, such as cyclists who want to ride the route.”

Craig Minto, 31, who runs The Fleece and Craven Heifer in Addingham, said: “This is a fantastic boost to the local and regional tourism economy.

“We are fortunate enough to be right on the doorstep for both days of Yorkshire’s Grand Deport. We have seven newly refurbished rooms at the Craven Heifer, all themes after some of Yorkshire’s most famous sons and daughters. We expect them to be fully booked very quickly.”