This is a topic I have been curious about ever since I attended a conference that my husband helped to organize in Victoria last year. While there, I struck up a conversation with an attendee from Seattle; he had his bike with him and was planning to go for a ride the next day but didn't seem to know any good routes. Neither the conference organizers nor the hotel had thought to include cycling-related information in the registration packages. This is not a good sign for a region that considers itself to be Canada's cycling capital.
So with both encounters in mind, I went looking for information. Turns out that the economic benefit of cycling is not a new concept, but it is certainly drawing more attention these days.
One Cycle (an international cycling non-profit organization) says that cycle tourism received little attention in the past because vendors assumed that tourists with bikes were not wealthy enough to target; other service providers, such as transit operators, thought cyclists were a hassle.
These perspectives have started to change with the retirement of the baby boom generation. They are for the most part healthy and/or looking for ways to stay healthy, and—guess what!—cycling, it turns out, is a big draw. According to a One Cycle study, c
Another study, by Bike on Tours Consulting in Ontario, concluded that there are several things that help attract cyclists to an area, including the following:
- bicycle-friendly streets and paths, wide enough for bicycles and other users
- access to scenic roads, natural areas, waterfront, cultural and historic attractions
- good restaurants
- accommodation with a hearty breakfast, either provided or nearby
- bicycle repair shops and other interesting stores
- adequate and secure bicycle parking
- theatre, music and arts festivals
- route maps and effective advertising