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Leisure cycling tourism worth half a billion pounds to British economy

Tourism bodies quantify spend for first time - cycling ahead of golf and fishing

Tourism related to leisure cycling is worth half a billion pounds a year to the British economy according to new figures released by VisitEngland.

The tourism body, which compiled the data alongside sister agencies VisitScotland and VisitWales, says it’s the first time the value generated by a wide range of leisure activities has been quantified.

The figures were revealed at the annual ABTA Convention, taking place this year in Costa Navarino, Greece.

They reveal that leisure cycling generates £520 million a year to the tourism industry, ahead of golf (£456 million), fishing (£274 million) and watersports (£317 million).

But those figures are dwarfed by the money spent by people going to watch live sporting events, at £3.2 billion, while visitor attractions top the chart with £3.8 billion generated by domestic visitors alone.

Wales brings in £52 million annually from leisure tourism related to cycling and mountain biking, while in Scotland it’s unsurprisingly golf that punches above its weight, with domestic spend of £90 million.

VisitEngland chief executive James Berresford said: “This new research is welcome news, confirming the huge contribution that the variety of leisure activities in this country make to the economy.

“Trips motivated by activities such as walking and cycling generate a massive associated spend, as people are willing to travel around the country to take part in them and that is something businesses can tap into to drive growth by offering new and exciting experiences,” he added.

Although in some parts of the UK popular with cyclists such as North Wales, Surrey and the New Forest there is small but vocal opposition to organised cycling events – with acts of sabotage such as sprinkling tacks on the road an all too common occurrence – the figures do highlight the benefit that bike riders, and their spending power, bring to the tourist economy.

Simon joined 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.

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mrmo | 8 years ago

i assume but don't know hence this question, revenue is cafe spend, hotels, entries, etc, but not purchase of bikes and bits? 

RobD | 8 years ago
1 like

Yet somehow golfists seem to be much more welcome in a lot of places...

ofathens replied to RobD | 8 years ago

RobD wrote:

Yet somehow golfists seem to be much more welcome in a lot of places...


Golf carts pay road tax

Leviathan | 8 years ago
1 like

Careful now, there be donkeys drifting.

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