Bike Tourism Contributing to Biking Sales, Industry

The recent National Bicycle Tourism Conference highlighted the ties between the bicycle retail business and bike-​related tourism to get more people riding, and buying, more often. More and more consumers are fitness-​oriented these days, enough so that they don't even take breaks from exercising while on vacation. But tourists are also finding that biking in a new area is a great way to see the city and explore their surroundings.

The conference's broader focus on bicycle tourism attracted a range of presenters, from cycling event promoters, and biking advocates, to travel professionals, and public officials. These industry experts touched on ways retailers can use tourism to reach new riders and boost exposure.

According to The Independent Bike Blog, The Adventure Cycling Association‰Ûªs Jim Sayer talked about how bike tourism has become an emerging sector in global and American travel markets. Sayer gave examples of states and regions focusing on bike tourism as an economic driver. Sayer noted that continental and national bike route networks are growing, with the U.S. Bicycle Route System now encompassing 6,790 miles in 15 states. He pointed to a boom in single-​day and short tours and gave examples of how federal and state agencies have boosted support for bike travel. Bike sharing, rentals, events and effective non-​profits are also on the upswing, Sayer said.

Bike sharing is spreading as well. San Diego was featured for its successful efforts at putting more bikes on the streets for more people to use. A case can be made that introducing novices to biking through bike-​share programs will create avid bicycle consumers.

"Tim Blumenthal of PeopleForBikes described an 85% growth in bicycle use in some cities, with protected bike lanes becoming an important feature leading to more bicycle use," the blogger reports. "He proposed marketing to Millennials as they pursue a more 'compact lifestyle' with less focus on cars, less reliance on material goods, and a desire to accumulate experiences rather than stuff."

A panel on attracting more women to bicycle touring emphasized the importance of reaching out to infrequent and casual cyclists and making events fun for all people. One panelist noted that 80% of travel decisions are made by women. AudienceSCAN finds that 21% of U.S. adults enjoy biking/​spinning, and 43.6% of them are women.

As for travel, AudienceSCAN reports 60% of these bikers are planning a vacation in the U.S. this year, and another 46% will make a beach trip. 36% of cyclists also are planning trips to state/​national parks. Note that 8.3% of this audience will use travel-​planning services to book these trips.

Bike shops should make note that 20.5% of these cycling enthusiasts will purchase new bikes in the coming months, and 68% of them prefer to do so at locally owned businesses.

AudienceSCAN data is available as part of a subscription to AdMall for Agencies. Media companies can access AudienceSCAN data through the Audience Intelligence Reports inåÊAdMall.

Courtney Huckabay
Courtney is the Editor for SalesFuel Today. She analyzes secondary customer research and our primary AudienceSCAN research. Courtney is a graduate of Middle Tennessee State University.