Economy Minister Gordon Lyons met with Irish Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media Catherine Martin TD to discuss a joint bid to host the first stages of the future Tour de France.
The Ministers discussed the tourism, sports and wider benefits of the event and expressed interest in a formal tender process for the tour organizers.
Officials from both departments will work together to explore the possibility of hosting the event in 2026 or 2027.
Chancellor of the Exchequer Lyons said: “Securing the opening stages of the Tour de France will be a fantastic opportunity for Northern Ireland to present itself on the world stage and add to the growing list of major sporting events that have been held here in recent years. .
People will fondly remember the success of the ‘Big Start’ of the Giro d’Italia in 2014 and I am sure that together we can organize a successful Big Start.
“Major events like this not only provide huge financial benefits but also a great opportunity to showcase all that is great about Northern Ireland. »
Minister Martin added: “Hosting the world’s biggest cycle race will be a fantastic opportunity for the island of Ireland. I was pleased to meet Minister Lyons again during my recent trip to Belfast and agree to express a common interest in organizing three full stages in 2026 or 2027 for Le Grand Départ of the Tour de France.
“Our shared experience of hosting major sporting events, our collaborative approach to marketing the whole island of Ireland as a tourist destination, combined with the stunning scenery and seed mile failure that await visitors to Ireland, can create an incredible event as a whole. This collaborative process has my full support, and with my colleagues in Government over the coming weeks. I will engage.”
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