A rider gets some air during the 2018 Bear Mountain Bike Festival in Langford, B.C. A study from the Mountain Bike Tourism Association revealed revenues and employment related to mountain bike tourism in B.C. have seen a significant increase in the last ten years. (Spencer Pickles/Black Press)

Study shows increase in mountain bike tourism in B.C.

Numbers are up, way up, for bike-related visits to the province

Good news for mountain bikers in B.C., a new study shows a sharp upswing in the number of people coming to the province specifically for mountain bike tourism, leading to record profits and hopes of more support for mountain biking from the province.

The economic impact study, conducted by the Mountain Bike Tourism Association (MTBA) and Destination British Columbia, shows an increase of over 100% in revenues and employment numbers related to mountain biking in B.C. over a ten year period. Revenues rose from $31.7 million to $70.6 million while employment rose from 309 jobs to 687 jobs directly related to mountain bike tourism in the province.

The largest growth has been seen in coastal regions, such as Vancouver’s North Shore, and Whistler’s Mountain Bike Park and Whistler Valley Trail Network. The Shuswap, home to numerous expansive trail systems, as well as the Salty Dog Enduro race — one of the largest mountain biking events in B.C. — also benefits from these increasing mountain biking tourism numbers.

“The ability to showcase the economic impacts of what is still often viewed as a ‘fringe’ sport to land managers and elected officials is invaluable” says Cooper Quinn, president of the North Shore Mountain Bike Association. “Having hard data showing the financial impacts and growth of mountain biking over the past 10 years gives us credibility and a business case to support further investment from municipalities and other levels of government.”

However, while the growth has been a boon for tourism in many communities, it is not without challenges, particularly for the mountain bike clubs who are maintaining the trail systems largely through volunteer labour. Mountain bike clubs and other organizations around the province are struggling to keep up with the demand and are seeking funding to increase their capacity to build and maintain trails.

While some municipalities and districts offer grants and other funding to support the upkeep of local trails, this is not always the case in all parts of the province and many communities are facing similar maintenance challenges. Trails are often located on Crown land outside of municipal boundaries making it difficult for local governments to allocate funding for adequate maintenance.


 

@Jodi_Brak117
jodi.brak@saobserver.net

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Vernon RCMP take more fentanyl off street

Two Vernon men arrested after home searched and drug trafficking paraphernalia found

Directors contemplate Regional District of North Okanagan recycling motions

Trio of motions one step away from Regional District of North Okanagan adoption

Vernon RCMP’s most wanted

Five individuals sought by Vernon-North Okanagan police detachment

Vernon electronics theft linked to Kelowna incident

Electronics were stolen from London Drugs in Vernon Dec. 11

Okanagan College unlocks time capsule

Items placed in 1993 and kept in capsule in library opened at special ceremony

VIDEO: Royals reveal the images on their Christmas cards

Prince William and his wife Kate are shown outside in casual clothes, their three young children in tow

White: Don’t be a Scrooge like me

It gets to the point where you simply can’t avoid Christmas no matter how hard you try.

‘I practically begged’: Kootenay woman with breast cancer denied referral to Calgary

Breast cancer patient left to fight disease alone after being denied referral to Calgary

Trudeau to make it harder for future PM to reverse Senate reforms

Of the 105 current senators, 54 are now independents who have banded together in Independent Senators’ Group

21 detained before Paris protests as police deploy in force

There was a strong police presence outside the central Saint Lazare train station, where police in riot gear checked bags

ICBC to apply for 6.3% hike to basic insurance rates

Crown Corporation said it will be submitting its next basic rate application to the British Columbia Utilities Commission Friday

Stranded B.C. trucker writes final wishes before being rescued 3 days later

‘I was just praying someone would come along’

Canfor Corp. extending temporary curtailment of sawmills in B.C.; cutting hours

Vancouver-based company says the decision is due to declining lumber prices, high log costs and log supply constraints

Canada’s prospective world junior team members await final roster decisions

Thirty-four players were invited to the national junior selection camp

Most Read