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

World-Renowned poet kicks off tour in Fort St. James

By Ruth Lloyd On September 20, 2018, the Community Hall Theatre of… Continue reading

‘Summer from hell’: vandals rob community garden following devastating wildfire season

The community rallied to keep the Health Minds Community Garden open in Fort St. James

College of New Caledonia offers new automotive glass technician program

The program is offered mainly online, allowing more students to take part from across the north

Decision on Burns Lake’s workforce camp “pending very soon”: Coastal GasLink

Meetings to discuss new camp location postponed due to wildfire situation

B.C. parents leery of HPV cervical cancer vaccine

Provincial registration uptake among lowest in Canada

VIDEO: Rare close encounter with whale pod spotted off B.C. waters

Pod of southern resident orca whales breach within arms length of whale watchers

Rattie scores 3 as Oilers blank Canucks 6-0

Vancouver slips to 1-5 in exhibition play

Veterans Affairs ordered to take second look before supporting vets’ relatives

Liberal government ordered officials to adopt a more critical eye

Dead B.C. motorcyclist was member of group that raced down mountain road

Some group members record their rides on Strathcona Parkway and post times to page

Indigenous athletes in spotlight at BC Sports Hall of Fame

New gallery to feature Carey Price, Kaila Mussel and Richard Peter

B.C. couple who went missing on flight from Edmonton named by family

Family released a statement Wednesday saying they’re still intent on finding the two-seater plane

VIDEO: A close look at what you were breathing during the B.C. wildfire season

Electron microscope images show soot and tar particles generated by worst B.C. fire season

B.C. woman donates $250,000 to ovarian cancer research for friends

Two of Patty Pitts’s friends passed away from the disease within a year

B.C. could provide clues as to how New Brunswick electoral results shake out

Premier Christy Clark faced a strikingly similar scenario following the province’s 2017 election

Most Read