Bike boom could bring massive boost in tourism dollars
Cycling tourism could generate hundreds of millions of dollars for the Queensland economy each year, revitalising regional economies and boosting small business growth.
According to the latest available data, the adventure travel market is growing by about 65 per cent yearly.
Bicycle Queensland CEO, Anne Savage, said Queensland was strongly positioned to capitalise on a booming interest in bike tours.
“The global bicycle market is projected to grow from US$45B in 2016 to US$62B by 2024, with 32.8 million electric bikes sold in the Asia-Pacific region in 2016,” Ms Savage said.
“Evidence suggests bicycle tourists stay longer, spend more, and support smaller businesses.
“Queensland is the perfect destination for bicycle tourism, with some of the world’s best-known mountain bike trails and endurance events.
“About 20% of riders registered in the eight-day Cycle Queensland tour from the Daintree to Cairns in September this year are from interstate or overseas, demonstrating the strength of Queensland’s credibility as an adventure and ecotourism drawcard.”
Both State and local governments have committed to boosting investments in cycling tourism.
“The Queensland Government’s Cycling Action Plan will invest $14 million over four years to develop rail trails in partnership with local governments – delivering new off-road cycling routes for marketing to local, national, and international visitors.
“This includes delivery of the missing link between Toogoolawah and Moore to complete the 161-kilometre Brisbane Valley Rail Trail, a recreational trail that follows the disused Brisbane Valley rail corridor from Wulkuraka, west of Ipswich, to Yarraman, west of Kilcoy.
“If we get the marketing right, these investments will pay off for the people of regional Queensland and the economy more broadly.
“A new mass-participation event, such as a ‘Tour Up Top’, could bring tens of thousands of international cyclists to Queensland and the Far North.
“Every year about 10-12 million spectators watch the Tour de France on the ground in Europe – there’s every reason to try and achieve something similar here in Queensland.
“With the rapid emergence of electric bikes, people of all ages can ride further for longer, experiencing all Queensland’s cities and towns in new ways.
“Bike tourism promises to boost the economy, preserve our natural environment, and bring more people to Queensland’s beautiful shores.”