Cycle Tourism

Earlier this year I wrote about Dennis Puniard’s research into Cycle Tourism and Social Media.

Yesterday I attended a seminar Dennis hosted to discuss Cycle Tourism in the Australian Capital Territory Region.

Dennis and his colleagues Trevor Mules, Pam Faulks and Tracey Dickson were commissioned to report on cycle tourism and were asked by ACT Tourism to:

  • Identify and engage stakeholders
  • Identify and quantify the impact of: existing events; existing facilities; current initiatives
  • Survey cycle tourists
  • Identify opportunities and issues

A report was submitted to ACT Tourism in February 2011 and Dennis’ s seminar was an opportunity to share the outcomes of the consultation with stakeholders who had expressed an interest in learning of the outcomes of the project.

In his Introduction to his presentation Dennis noted that:

  • A significant proportion of the Australian population own bicycles (16 million bikes purchased since 2000)
  • 1.9 million Australians rode bicycles in 2009
  • 10% of the population ride a bike each week
  • There are lots of events for cyclists
  • The Australian Capital Territory leads the nation in bicycle use.

Dennis has adopted the South Australian Tourist Commission’s (2005) definition of cycle tourism in his work:  

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.

In 2009 an ACT National Visitors’ Survey identified those overnight visitors who listed cycling as an activity undertaken during their visit:

  • 31,000 visitors
  • Average length of stay 2.7 nights
  • Total visitor nights 83,000
  • Expenditure per day $236 and per visit $631
  • Total spend $19,561,000

Dennis’s research has identified detailed information about cycle tourism behaviour and he shared these data in his seminar.

He concluded his presentation with the following recommendations:

  1. A Cycle Tourism Strategy be developed that should include: a vision, theme, objectives, timeframe, contexts, benefits to the Region, identified markets, resources and partnerships.
  2. Funding be provided to complete the Strategy, to market cycle tourism and to support a three-year development plan to go beyond the “good idea” phase.
  3. There should be a coordinated drive to promote cycle tourism with a Regional Cycling Guide and to provide standardised cycling maps.

Dennis noted the potential of Rail Trails to contribute to cycle tourism. He confirmed that the University of Canberra will host a Rail Trail Symposium and a Cycle Tourism Conference in February 2012.

Dennis’s presentation is available at Cycle Tourism Seminar 2 May 2011

Photo Credits

Transit

The Mont 24 Hour Race

Cycle Handlebars

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.