Cycling Infrastructure Generates Growth in BC Tourism

Cycling Infrastructure Generates Growth in BC Tourism

July 20, 2018 Posted by Abby Pollen

Whether you’re looking for a green investment option or the best destination for your next cycling adventure, British Columbia can meet your needs. Cycling and mountain biking are drawing increasing numbers of tourists to the province. A recent economic impact study, conducted by the Mountain Bike Tourism Association (MTBA) and Destination British Columbia, shows an increase of more than 100% in revenues and employment numbers directly related to mountain biking in B.C. over the past decade. Vancouver’s North Shore and the Mountain Bike Park and Whistler Valley Trail Network in Whistler are consistently popular locations, but hidden gems across the province are gaining traction.

The recent boom in B.C. tourism linked to cycling is driven by word of mouth, targeted marketing by communities and businesses, and by larger industry and provincial organizations, including government.  For example, communities throughout British Columbia are benefitting from BikeBC grants for cycling projects that support green transportation options.

West Kelowna will be using their grant for phase two of the Boucherie Road Wine Trail. British Columbia is a leader in North America when it comes to cycling infrastructure, and the combination of local vineyards, wineries and farmers markets has made cycling tourism very popular, especially through the Okanagan region (read more about this in our entry about gastro-tourism).

Invermere is completing a similar project with their grant, which will complete the Westside Legacy Trail. The final product will be 25 km of uninterrupted, paved trail connecting the communities of Invermere and Fairmont Hot Springs. During the summer it will be available to cyclists, foot traffic, roller-bladers and other summer activities. Through the winter, it will make an ideal cross-country skiing location.

The Shuswap in South-Central B.C. is home to numerous expansive trail systems, as well as the Salty Dog Enduro race — one of the largest mountain biking events in the province. Since 2001, the six hour enduro mountain bike race has met with rave reviews about the beauty of the South Canoe trails. This year’s sold out race featured approximately 500 riders in the main six-hour race, 100 under-15 riders in the three-hour race and 80 kids racing in the Salty Pup race.

With significant increases in tourism revenue over the last decade, the sector has proven it is gearing up as a major economic driver for the province.

If you have a company in British Columbia and want guidance as you grow your international reach, contact the experts at our Export Navigator. Specialists in offices across the province can provide a personalized, step-by-step approach to exporting and help connect your business to the appropriate market information, export programs, financial services and business development experts at every stage of the process.

Want to learn more about investing in British Columbia’s tourism industry? Reach out on LinkedIn or Twitter. Our Trade Representatives can provide the market details to ensure you make an informed investment.
 
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