VisitScotland says that the “Danny MacAskill” effect, together with a series of major events taking place in the country next year, are leading to a boom in cycling-related tourism in the country.
MacAskill’s film The Ridge, shot on his native Skye and showcasing the island’s Cuillins mountain range, has amassed more than 26 million views less than three months after going live on YouTube in early October.
It has led to a 20 per cent increase in bookings at Skye Adventure, which partnered with MacAskill for the film. Meanwhile, VisitScotland says that 7stanes, which comprises seven mountain biking areas in the Borders and Dumfries & Galloway, received more than half a million visitors last year.
During 2014, Glasgow’s hosting of the Commonwealth Games saw track and road cycling take centre stage in the country’s largest city, while its capital, Edinburgh, hosted a round of the Pearl Izumi Tour Series.
2014 Pearl Izumi Tour Series in Edinburgh (copyright SweetSpot)
The hosting of the latter event forms part of a longer-term strategy for the city to host the Grand Depart of the Tour de France, having missed out to a rival bid from Yorkshire this year, and VisitScotland says it is also investing in events such as the Tour of Britain.
Events supported during 2014 included the Tour o’ the Borders, Ride the North and Etape Loch Ness
The national tourism agency also says domestic visitors alone taking part in mountain biking or cycling spend a combined total of 2 million nights and £109 million each year.
VisitScotland’s chief executive, Malcolm Roughead, said: “Scotland has a global reputation for cycling and in the UK alone it is estimated that there are 11 million people who own a mountain bike.
“From cycling tours around the incredible Highlands to mountain biking in the Scottish Borders and Dumfries & Galloway, there is a huge opportunity for Scottish tourism.
“The Ridge took cycling in Skye to a global audience, and with our endless miles of forest tracks, cycle trails, country paths and top-quality facilities, we need to continue to show the world why Scotland is the place to jump on a bike.”
More information on cycling in Scotland can be found here.
If you somehow missed MacAskill’s latest film – or simply want to watch it again – here it is.
Simon joined road.cc as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.