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

North Beach clam harvest closed due to biotoxin results

Marine biotoxin results in closure for all bivalve harvesting from Wiah Point to Rose Spit

In Pictures: Rock the Plank! brings in the booty

Pirate-themed skate party raises $2,500 for new Masset Skate Society

Haida Gwaii fishing grounds are key to survival of northern resident killer whales: DFO

Plan marks waters from Langara to Rose Spit as critical habitat for northern resident killer whales

Masset suggests a simpler structure for Gwaii Trust

Change would parallel existing municipal, regional district representation for non-Haida communities

Grade 9s on Gwaii Haanas trip visit “the best spot on Haida Gwaii”

Now in its fourth year, Grade 9 trip gives Haida Gwaii youth a chance to visit Tanu and Windy Bay

VIDEO: Trudeau shuffles familiar faces, adds new ones to expanded cabinet

Justin Trudeau shuffles his front bench Wednesday to install the roster of ministers that will be entrusted with leading the Liberal team into next year’s election.

Wildfires erupt in B.C. Okanagan forcing evacuation orders and a highway closure

Check out a list of up-to-date information on blazes happening within the Kamloops Wildfire Centre.

‘Amazing Race Canada’ competitors face B.C. challenge

They drove Corvettes, mastered falconry basics, and ate blueberry pie in the Cowichan Valley

Grizzly bear jumps in river, chases B.C. kayaker

The bear got a bit too close for comfort along the Elaho River near Squamish

Evacuation alert issued due to Dog Creek Trail Wildfire

An evacuation alert has been issued by the Regional District of Bulkley-Nechako… Continue reading

Parks Canada looks to shine light on cloudy future for historic sites

A plan is in place to produce 10-year plans designed to turn around sagging attendance figures

B.C. poet shines a bright light on struggle with homelessness

Book launch for John La Greca’s Homeless Memorial is at Vernon’s Gallery Vertigo July 21.

Ontario police say attack on Muslim man was motivated by hate

Two men, aged 27 and 19, have been charged with assault in the incident

Canadian Tire delivers toys to ease kids’ street play pain in B.C. neighbourhood

It’s like Christmas for 11 kids who are supposed to be confined to their yards by strata bylaw

Most Read