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TIS website and resources

Register on web site for:

- Downloadable practical guides

- Research summaries of key intelligence

- Best practice stories from the UK and overseas

- Practical tools such as Listening To Our Visitors, Destination Development

- Insights on specific themes

- ‘Ear to the Ground’ regular newsletters with topical info.

- LinkedIn and Twitter discussions


Mountain Biking Tourism – key facts

  • Tourism due to Mountain biking (MB) : £46.5 m p.a, wider value is £119m
  • Set for significant growth of over 30% in next 5 years
  • Total number of MB visitors is 1.3 million; purpose built bike centres attract 592,000 visits a year.
  • 22.5% stay overnight. Scots stay 2.1 nts, other UK 4.4 nts.
  • On average, MT bikers make 6-7 visits to built centres p.a, of which 4-5 are day visits
  • 7Stanes currently dominates: 69% of all visits to
  • built centres
  • FCS manages approx. 1300 kms cycling/MTB trails.

Mountain Biking Tourism – Scotland’s assets & capabilities

  • Quality and Quantity of purpose built, MTB tracks
  • Progressive access legislation
  • Growing number of bike related businesses & expertise
  • Strong brand identity of 7-Stanes provides awareness
  • High profile international events
  • Potential for packages with other tourism offers: Year of Natural Scotland
  • CWG 2014, Cathkin Braes


Evidence of investment and growth

  • UCI MTB World Cup, Fort William: 20,000 visitors
  • FCS continues to invest: £8.5m at Glentress Fell in the Tweed Valley Forest Park
  • Glencoe: new red track in 2012 – trebled visitors!
  • BikeTrax skills loop - Highland Safaris, Aberfeldy.
  • Comrie Croft – new tracks in 2012 and 2013
  • Tomintoul – tracks, 10 + 19 kms, Crown Estate. £0.5m
  • Cathkin Braes Trail….

Mountain Biking Tourism – weaknesses & constraints

  • Provision seen as specialist – need to make things easier
  • Dependence on cars to access sites
  • Growing competition from other areas
  • Challenge in funding new routes to protect market share
  • Reinvestment in existing trails
  • Health & safety?
  • Lack of co-ordination between mountain biking trails and tourism businesses


Tips to tap in to the markets:

  • Top tips to tap into the market:
  • Know what trail grades your local centres offer so you can advise your visitors. Have their literature to hand. Or advise/refer to accommodation providers.
  • Use spectacular scenery and MTB images on your web site and brochure. Or great food and other activities
  • Mountain biking is year-round. Can you use it to promote your business in the off-season?
  • What businesses could you partner to offer visitors an exciting package?
  • The specialist market does need some facilities – but not expensive adaptations.

Cycle Highlands, Deeside

  • Expanded from initial rental business.
  • Corporate market: collaborates with event and sponsorship organisers to exploit.
  • Collaborate with other activity providers to x-promote.
  • Work closely with hotels/B & Bs – drop-off and pick-up of rental bikes. Added value for both sides.
  • Has developed a route map which he retails.
  • Arranges own MTB event, and gets involved
  • in those run by others.
  • “Growth is polarised: serious bikers (DIY)
  • but also families.”

Top tourism trends - mountain biking

  • The family market – parents with school age kids.
  • “Active ageing” - older visitors, but young at heart. Fitter. Much travelled.
  • People are searching for new experiences to enrich their lives – “being and doing” not necessarily “having”
  • Rising expectations of quality- but need added value and deals/offers
  • Visitors appreciate authenticity, “real” Scotland, explore nature
  • MTB visitors undertake other outdoor activities – and v-v.
  • MTB visitors shop, eat, drink, party, go to festivals….and may visit more than one trail centre on a trip.
  • Activity, Health and wellbeing
  • Growing awareness of green & ethical issues.
  • ABTA research: Younger travellers are taking more
  • holidays: 4-5 breaks
  • Social media important

Accommodation providers - think about

  • How is your post-biking experience?
  • Bike security?
  • Pictures and testimonials on your website.
  • Other local information: activities, attractions, eating out.
  • Transport for visitors and their bikes
  • Weather updates
  • Provide relevant reading
  • Flexible meal times, packed lunches, energy foods/drinks
  • Bike rental made easy: pick-up
  • And the basics:
  • Wifi
  • Use appropriate imagery in publicity.
  • Provide relevant links and contact info on your website.

To recap…

  • Growing market for MTB - Scotland is world class!
  • Core market remains male 18-40 but families, older people and females increasing
  • Refer to specialist operators for instruction and guiding.
  • Events can raise profile
  • Info on local trails, centres and shops
  • Facilities: Bike washing, clothes drying, repair.
  • Interesting things to do off the bike!
  • Collaborate with others – all sorts of others!