Pedal Power: Cycle Tourism and Social Media

We have just held a second PhD progress seminar in the University of Canberra’s Teaching Commons.
Dennis Puniard presented his update of work on cycle tourism and online technology (copy of his presentation here). Dennis’s working title is Surfing the Net to Find Cycling Nirvana: how cyclists use online technology to determine their travel destinations.
Dennis uses the South Australia Tourism Commission’s (2005) definition of cycle tourism:

cycle tourism visits are considered to be for the purpose of holidays, recreation, pleasure, or sport and to include either overnight stays or day trips to other tourism regions during which the visitor either engages in active cycling or is a spectator at a cycling event.

He developed his ideas around online technology with reference to Charlene Li and Josh Bernoff’s (2008) concept of a social technographic profile. His presentation provided some novel insights into cyclists’ online behaviour.
Dennis’s three research questions are:

  1. What is the role and influence of online technology (the internet,  online maps and social networking) and associated  information sources in destination choice for cycle tourists?
  2. What information do cyclists seek through the use of online technology to assist in making destination choices for cycling related travel and how do they want it to be presented and accessed?
  3. Do the different demographics of four major cycling sectors (recreational, MTB, BMX, road racing) give rise to different motivations for travel and thus different use of technology in destination choice?

He provided some detailed data in response to these questions. These data raised key issues to be addressed in the next phase of Dennis’s writing. He aims to complete his thesis in July 2011. He has a great motto to guide him … a quotation he presented at the start of his talk:

I once read that a man is never retired, only retreaded – in a different pattern.
Sir Hubert Opperman, Pedals, Politics and People (1977)

As with Bruce Coe’s seminar the Teaching Commons turned out to be a great venue for presentation and discussion.


  1. Very sorry to have missed this presentation – toured by bicycle, New Zealand, and large chunks of the Australian East Coast. Would be good to see this post copied into the UCNISS blog, and any future events included in the calendar.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here