Tonya Mohn of NBC News wrote about the popularity of Discover France’s Tour de France VIP packages, and generally, about the race’s impact on bike vacations in France.
Here’s our favorite part:
Discover France, which offers self-guided bicycle tours in France, said since becoming the official operator of the Tour de France in 2011, it experienced a 120 percent increase in clients taking its Tour-related trips, including packages for spectators only and for various levels of fitness, ability and challenge. The company attributed much of the growth to its packages offering VIP access. Clients, for example, can ride the final kilometers of the Tour route and cross the finish line, just before the pros. They also can access the podium for photos, meet “some legends of cycling,” and garner a spot on the finish line. From January to July this year, total sales were greater than for all of 2013.
“We are expecting this trend to continue since more people are interested in sustainable, slow travel that offers authentic and immersive experiences,” said Thomas Boutin, the chief executive. “There is nothing more satisfying than reaching a destination on bike, after having pedaled through back roads of the loveliest landscapes, filled with vineyards and tiny villages, and sites of serious historical and cultural value.”