The Path and Potential of Cyclo-Tourism in BC

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British Columbia has unique and captivating natural landscapes in close proximity to mountains and water; numerous cycling routes and trails; a mild climate and diverse terrains conducive to a variety of cycling activities. This competitive edge over other destinations has the potential to offer tourists an array of cycling experiences including cycling on tracks and trails, road cycling and events in both urban and rural settings.

In this report the term “cyclo-tourism” includes visits for recreation or leisure that involve cycling as a significant part of the visit. The tourism sector is growing both domestically and interna- tionally. Research in other jurisdictions finds the range and extent of benefits derived from the investments in cyclo-tourism are many. Prominent among these are:

  • increased revenue for local businesses including hotels, restaurants, entertainment venues attractions and retailers (particularly in rural communities);

  • higher retention of economic benefits in local communities compared to other tourism activities;

  • higher average spending and length of stays compared to non-cycling tourists;

  • the creation and preservation of local jobs; and

  • revenues that contribute significantly to federal and provincial taxes.

In many jurisdictions, the value of cyclo-tourism is in the hundreds of millions of dollars per year. Overnight bicycle trips contribute over $300 million annually to the Oregon economy. In New Zealand, cyclo-tourism creates around $200 million per year in economic activity. In Scotland, the yearly total is estimated to range from £117.2 million to £239 million. Cycling tourism and recreation in Wisconsin is worth over $900 million annually. Overall spending of cycling tourists in Ontario was $278 million in 2008.

 

 

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