Tourism businesses urged to capitalise on Scotland's potential £155million mountain biking market
Posted: 21 June 2011
Scottish tourism businesses are being challenged to look at ways of tapping into a predicted 30 per cent growth in mountain biking in Scotland over the next five years.
Companies are being urged to take advantage of this predicted growth in a new mountain biking guide published by Tourism Intelligence Scotland (TIS), as part of its Opportunities for Growth series. Currently generating £119million a year for the Scottish economy - with market share predicted to increase t
o £155million in the next five years - mountain biking is set to become firmly established as Scotland's most popular adventure activity after walking.
The new guide provides key intelligence on the sector, as well as offering advice on how businesses can ensure that cyclists - ranging from experienced mountain bikers to those trying it out for the first time - have the best experience possible. For example, accommodation providers could stock basic bicycle repair items, offer secure bike racks and cleaning facilities, and print off daily weather forecasts for guests. Other tips include providing energy-boosting packed lunches and snacks, and offering flexible meal times to cater for riders who have had an early start or been out on day trips.
Katrina Morrison, Tourism Product Development Manager at Scottish Enterprise said:
"Mountain biking is so much more than a niche market for adrenalin-junkies. It offers the perfect social activity for families, an alternative day out for older couples, and an exciting new challenge for beginners."
"The idea of a healthy adventure activity, where you can just pick up your bike and go has grabbed the imagination of the mass market. With significant growth predicted over the next few years, this is a fantastic time for tourism businesses to get involved and grab their share."
Scotland is recognised as one of the world's leading locations for mountain biking, and was rated as a Global Superstar by the International Mountain Bicycling Association. Recent figures show that more than 1.3 million visits are made to Scotland each year for mountain biking, nearly 600,000 of which are to sample purpose-built trails, such as the world class 7stanes in the South of Scotland.
Andy McKenna, owner of Go-Where Scotland, a mountain bike tour, guiding and transport business based in the Scottish Borders said: "If we're to capitalise on the undoubted opportunities the growth in mountain biking will bring, we need to work together, share best practice and really raise the bar as a country."
"This new guide is a fantastic practical resource which will be of tremendous value to all types of tourism business - from those looking to get involved in the market for the first time, to seasoned operators looking to diversify or develop new products and services for our mountain bike visitors."
The Mountain Biking Tourism in Scotland guide has been published by Tourism Intelligence Scotland, as part of its Opportunities for Growth series, aimed at helping businesses make the most of new and emerging opportunities in the sector.
The guide is available to businesses who register at www.tourism-intelligence.co.uk