TOURISM bosses in Leeds today told of their excitement at the prospect of basking in the warm economic glow of the 2012 London Olympics torch relay.
As previously reported, the high-profile relay will stop off in the city on June 24 next year.
It will also visit four other towns and cities in Yorkshire and Humberside, including York and Sheffield, around the same time.
And tourism chiefs are hopeful the exposure the region will get from its role in the relay will persuade more people than ever to make it a holiday or day trip destination.
Gary Verity, chief executive of the Welcome to Yorkshire tourism agency, said: “Hosting the torch over six days in Yorkshire and Humber is terrific news.
“This offers us a great opportunity to profile everything that is fantastic about [the region] to a worldwide audience.”
Deborah Hindley, director of the Leeds Hotels and Venues Association, said: “It is a great honour that Leeds has been chosen to host the Olympic Flame.
“We are extremely excited about being part of this historic event which will bring more business and leisure visitors to the city.”
The economic benefits of a connection to the world’s biggest sporting brand were highlighted by last year’s Winter Olympics.
Host city Vancouver sold more than three million pairs of souvenir red mittens for 10 Canadian dollars (£6.35) each.
Next year’s relay will start at Land’s End on May 19 and take in more than 70 places nationwide before July 27’s opening ceremony.
Leeds will also play a part in the sporting build-up to the Olympics, with athletes from China, Serbia, Holland and the USA due to use it as a training base.