Friday, 3 October 2014

Mountain Bike Tourism (revisited)

It's post trip time, which can mean only one thing ... (no not unpacking) ... it's time to analyse my expenditure.


Yep, I may be a keen mountain biker, but I also really struggle to reconcile what I read about mountain biking being a huge and lucrative tousism market (with cyclists reportedly spending around $250 per person per day) with what I see on the ground, which is usually this ...


... empty trails and empty car parks.

Now on this latest trip, I saw pretty much what I expected:  The Mountain Bike parks (and rail trails) on the edges of the large population centres of Melbourne and Canberra were really well used, but once we got away from Lysterfield and Mt Stromlo, we pretty much had the trails all to ourselves.

We didn't see another soul at Tathra or Colquhoun, we met one local guy at Blores MTB Park and there was a small school group (5 or 6 kids) doing some runs at the Nowa Nowa MTB Park, but that was it.

As I have done in the past (see here and here and here) I quantified our own expenditures, and found that this nine night trip (well 11 nights if you include the two nights for me on the ferry) cost about $3500.  This roughly broke down into ferry and flights 19%,  accommodation 26% ($93 per night),   food, drinks & miscellaneous 32% ($110 per day), Petrol 12% ($44 per day - we covered around 2,500kms), and event entry fees 11%.

Remember though that this is for two of us, so if you ignore our ferry and flights and event entry fees, it cost us about $125 per person, per day for accommodation, food, entertainment and fuel.  ie. that's what we spent in the places we visited.

This is, according to the statistics, only half the normal expenditure of the average cycle tourist and yet we regularly ate out, we went to the tourist sites, stopped in lots of cafes, we stayed in reasonable ($100) hotels most nights and we had pretty high fuel expenses due to our dispersed itinerary.

So Kim and I, as 'independent' cycle tourists, yet again failed to meet our spending targets, in fact we're apparently in the bottom quartile of expenditures, so we're well and truly the cheapskates of the mountain biking world.

At least we would be ... if we weren't the only people we met out there.


But here's the other thing (and you are going to either think I am mega-awesome or without a life when you read this next bit) I actually mapped our expenditures (well most of them) to the mountain bike parks we visited, and it looks something like this ...

Our rough route
So the red line roughly shows our route (in a counter clockwise direction starting in Melbourne).  the White bubbles are the mountain bike parks we visited, the yellow $ signs are where we stayed (and the size roughly indicates how much money we spent), the blue $'s are where we spent money on food and accommodation (the Canberra one is a bit hidden) and the black $'s where we fueled up.

You can download the Google Earth file here if you're really interested (and because I put so much work into doing this).

Why I did this is because it illustrates what I think is a really interesting point:  Just building mountain bike trails is not by itself sufficient to attract spending in your area, even if the riders do come.

I spent a whole day riding the trails around Lysterfield and near Healsville ... but I spent most of my money back in Central Melbourne.

We hit three mountain bike parks on the south coast of Victoria, and spent a night (and our money) in Bairnsdale, but we barely bought more than a coke and a light lunch in the local communities around Heysfield, Lakes Entrance and Nowa Nowa.


Tathra on the other hand provided an enticing combination of accommodation and trails and that combination (and where it was located on our travel itinerary) had us hanging around and spending money there ... but ultimately it was back up in Canberra (where things are more expensive) that we spent most of our money.

So is there a take home story from this?  well maybe just that even if you build it, and we come, if you're doing it for tourism purposes you really do need to take a wider regional perspective to the benefits ... because whilst these trails (and events) did coax about $2,500 out of Tasmania and pumped it into the Mainland economy, ultimately, for me at least, I need a reason to stay in these local areas that's better than the reason to move on, and often the promise of a wider range of accommodation, entertainment and food options in the next decent sized town along the route will coax me to move on from where I am, leaving little more than my "thanks" to the local builders as I leave for the next area.

Just my thoughts.

35 comments:

  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    ReplyDelete
  2. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    ReplyDelete
  3. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    ReplyDelete
  4. This is a great article. It gave me a lot of useful information. thank you very much. roadmaster granite peak 26

    ReplyDelete
  5. These are some extraordinary devices that i unquestionably use for SEO work. This is an awesome rundown to use later on.. Best Mountain Bikes

    ReplyDelete
  6. Pretty good post. I just stumbled upon your blog and wanted to say that I have really enjoyed reading your blog posts. Any way I'll be subscribing to your feed and I hope you post again soon. Big thanks for the useful info. indian visa application

    ReplyDelete
  7. Travel Planning for Special Needs - there are a number of companies that specialize in creating group tours, cruises, and individual wheelchair travel options.fun things to do in kissimmee at night

    ReplyDelete
  8. I am impressed. I don't think Ive met anyone who knows as much about this subject as you do. You are truly well informed and very intelligent. You wrote something that people could understand and made the subject intriguing for everyone. Really, great blog you have got here. best folding electric bikes under 500

    ReplyDelete
  9. I read that Post and got it fine and informative. Please share more like that... hybrid bicycle

    ReplyDelete
  10. This is my first time i visit here. I found so many interesting stuff in your blog especially its discussion. From the tons of comments on your articles, I guess I am not the only one having all the enjoyment here keep up the good work fit tire electric bike

    ReplyDelete
  11. You can choose to become a travel agent, guide, tourism manager, Travel Trailers dealer in Missouri tour operator, adventure travel guide, airline service staff and so on.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Eco tourism doesn't just mean viewing the sights of nature. It also means being as harmonious with the naturally beautiful place that the people are touring. These people visit the place and then move out of it, without leaving any mark or sign that they had been there. whitby homes for sale

    ReplyDelete
  13. This is my first time i visit here. I found so many interesting stuff in your blog especially its discussion. From the tons of comments on your articles, I guess I am not the only one having all the enjoyment here keep up the good work best motorcycle dash cams on market

    ReplyDelete
  14. I have read your article, it is very informative and helpful for me.I admire the valuable information you offer in your articles. Thanks for posting it..best mtb under 500

    ReplyDelete
  15. This is such a great resource that you are providing and you give it away for free. Зачем студенты пишут сочинения и эссе

    ReplyDelete
  16. Thank you because you have been willing to share information with us. we will always appreciate all you have done here because I know you are very concerned with our. Zanzibar tours excursions

    ReplyDelete

  17. Excellent blog,I am a regular visitor to your site and thank you for taking the time to maintain a great site. I will be a regular visitor for a long time. The turkey visa for americans is the must detail for getting the valid visa that can be issued to USA foreigners who wish to enter turkey by the process of how to apply for turkish visa with the requirements of turkey by applying online evisa and get the visa within days.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Selecting Good Mountain Bikes begins with selecting the right type of mountain bike (MTB) for you. Yes, it all comes back down to the type of riding you do. My current bike is thirteen years old and still going strong. bike motor

    ReplyDelete
  19. An impressive on the beach holidaysshare! I've just forwarded this onto a coworker who was doing a little research on this. And he actually British airways Holidays bought me lunch

    ReplyDelete
  20. Besides, preparing is a significant piece of room tourism. The Russian Federal Space Agency gives as long as a half year preparing before a space traveler is at last affirmed for a space visit. https://www.hotelgods.com

    ReplyDelete
  21. Tourism area should assume a proactive part to diminish its GHG outflows altogether in congruity with the 'Vienna Environmental Change Talks 2007' which perceived that worldwide emanations of GHG need to top in the following 10-15 years and afterward be decreased to low levels, https://europa-road.eu/hu/gepszallitas-belfoldon-es-kulfoldrol.php

    ReplyDelete
  22. this is a good article mountain bike team...thanks for shearing article more lean click... legit online dispensary shipping worldwide

    ReplyDelete
  23. I really appreciate the kind of topics you post here. Thanks for sharing us a great information that is actually helpful. Good day! sa-gaming

    ReplyDelete
  24. I truly like your interpretation of the issue. I now have an unmistakable thought on what this matter is about.. allbet

    ReplyDelete
  25. We offer a wide range coach and minibus hire in Finland of travel services for groups of all sizes. Our services cover high-quality transport for business events, transport for large groups as well as low-cost solutions for retirement and youth groups or sports clubs.

    ReplyDelete
  26. Selecting Good Mountain Bikes begins with selecting the right type of mountain bike (MTB) for you. Yes, it all comes back down to the type of riding you do. My current bike is thirteen years old and still going strong. wholesale

    ReplyDelete
  27. Exceptionally valuable information. Want to see more posts soon! customized loupe

    ReplyDelete
  28. here are more, 18 cruise liners and many agencies in all major holiday destinations. The company covers the entire tourism chain in one spot, which enables this top travel agent to serve over 27 million customers with the holiday experience of their life in 180 regions.top 10 travel agent

    ReplyDelete
  29. I went to this website, and I believe that you have a plenty of excellent information, I have saved your site to my bookmarks.
    VA Corporate Photographer

    ReplyDelete
  30. This top travel agents’ holidays Booking are all about that great value, Top10TravelAgents has loads of these deals to suit every kind of budget on our Discounts & Offers Page. Everything from adults-only and family breaks to once-in-a-lifetime retreats First Choice Review in the company’s catalogue.

    ReplyDelete
  31. Positive site, where did u come up with the information on this posting?I have read a few of the articles on your website now, and I really like your style. Thanks a million and please keep up the effective work. Cycling 2021 Live Stream

    ReplyDelete
  32. Wow, excellent post. I'd like to draft like this too - taking time and real hard work to make a great article. This post has encouraged me to write some posts that I am going to write soon. best spin bike seats

    ReplyDelete
  33. Your articles are inventive. I am looking forward to reading the plethora of articles that you have linked here. Thumbs up! best spin bike seats

    ReplyDelete
  34. I was reading some of your material on this website and I think this internet site is really informative!!! Keep on putting up. Eligible citizens check complete Azerbaijan visa requirement online through Azerbaijan evisa.

    ReplyDelete