PRESS RELEASE – Millions in Tourism Dollars Brought in By Bike
Studies Highlight Economic Value of Bicycle Tourism in British Columbia
Vancouver, BC - Research shows that cycling tourism is gaining traction as a vacation option for adventure-seeking and recreation-oriented adults. Recent studies commissioned by Travel Oregon and Vélo Québec demonstrate that cycle-tourists represent a new and untapped revenue stream that could bring hundreds of millions of new tourism dollars to British Columbia.
“Cycle tourism gives tourists a way to experience the natural beauty of British Columbia and its local businesses & attractions in an environmentally friendly way.” says John Rowlandson, Director of Island Pathways. “Investing in cycling infrastructure & promotion will bring huge benefits to our communities & tourism industry.”
To enable B.C to take advantage of the economic benefits of cycling tourism, the British Columbia Cycling Coalition recommends:
Increasing Provincial investment to $75 million per year to accelerate the completion of cycling networks that enables residents and visitors of all ages to safely and comfortably cycle for transportation, recreation and tourism throughout B.C.
Establishing a cycle tourism sector initiative supported by Destination BC.
The establishment of provincial standards for cycling signage and route classification.
At the National Bike Summit in Washington, D.C. this year, Travel Oregon officials announced that cycle travel contributes $325 million dollars annually to the State’s economy. In 2011, more than 25% of the State’s 17.4 million visitors rode a bike during their stay.
Similar growth in cycle travel has been noted in eastern Canada. Speaking at last summer’s Velo-City 2012 conference in Vancouver, Vélo Québec officials estimated annual spending of $134 million by cyclists using its Route Verte system. Similar to the Oregon study, Québec cyclist expenditures were concentrated in areas such as lodgings, meals, groceries, and transportation.
BC Cycling Coalition president Richard Campbell describes the growth of cycle travel as both a symbol of things to come and an incentive to go further. “Like Oregon, our temperate climate enables a year-round experience and our cycle travel landscapes are varied and awe-inspiring. And like Québec, we have the opportunity to invest in a shared infrastructure that provides safe cycling for kids, commuters, racers and recreational cyclists; encourages economic development in rural and urban places; and supports our transition to a sustainable carbon neutral economy.”
From 1995 to 2010, approximately $240 million were invested in developing a 4,700 km system of interconnected bike lanes, greenways and multi-use paths, painted shoulders and rural roads. Route Verte is the most extensive bicycle system in North America.
Oregon Bike Travel Study Facts
The 2012 Oregon Bike Travel Study describes the average cyclist visitor as male, between 35 and 54 years of age with an an average household income of almost $80,000 per year. The large majority of cyclists invest in multi-day cycling experiences. Overnight cyclists generated 95% or $309 million of annual cycling revenues.
About the BC Cycling Coalition
The BC Cycling Coalition (BCCC) is the leading provincial voice for cycling working with governments and other organizations to enable more people of all ages ride bicycles more often for transportation, recreation and tourism. The BCCC and its twelve member organizations represent thousands of people who cycle in communities across B.C. Visit http://bccc.bc.ca/election to learn more about the Cycling Strategy for BC.