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.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Exclusive: Pamela Anderson talks plans for waterfront Ladysmith property after 12-day marriage

Anderson says she can pay her own bills. Peters denies making comments suggesting she can’t

UPDATE – Chemainus Secondary School fire being investigated as suspicious

Classes cancelled Friday due to ongoing investigation and damage

Town Council approves recommended remunerations increase

A Select Committee on Council Remunerations was formed to determine an increase to remunerations

Ladysmith A&W sends employees on all-inclusive vacations for 10 years of service

Kelly Frenchy, Katherine Aleck, and Muriel Jack are headed on all expenses paid vacations

Disaster Aid Canada Receives $60,000 in Donations for Australian Bushfire Relief

Rotary Clubs in the affected areas will be able to apply for rebuilding funds for local projects

Blair says RCMP have met Wet’suwet’en conditions, calls for end to blockades

The Wet’suwet’en’s hereditary chiefs oppose the Coastal GasLink project

Petition seeks to remove local police department from Lindsay Buziak murder case

American woman starts online petition in hopes of helping Buziak family

Health officials confirm sixth COVID-19 case in B.C.

Woman remains in isolation as Fraser Health officials investigate

Study says flu vaccine protected most people during unusual influenza season

Test-negative method was pioneered by the BC Centre for Disease Control in 2004

Saskatchewan and B.C. reach championship round at Scotties

British Columbia’s Corryn Brown locked up the last berth in Pool B

Resident discovers five discarded hog heads in Vancouver Island ditch

WARNING: Graphic image may be upsetting to some readers

B.C. lawyer, professor look to piloting a mental-health court

In November, Nova Scotia’s mental-health court program marked 10 years of existence

COLUMN: Not an expert on First Nations government structures? Then maybe you should calm down

Consider your knowledge about First Nations governance structures before getting really, really mad

Meet the Wet’suwet’en who want the Coastal GasLink pipeline

Supporters of the pipeline are upset only one side is being heard nationwide

Most Read