THE INCREASING NUMBER of visitors to Moray and Speyside who are taking to pedal power to enjoy the spectacular countryside and coastal scenery is being recognised by local tourism chiefs.
Numbers of cyclists on the region’s roads, trails and mountain-bike tracks in the summer months shows that cycling is an increasingly popular activity for visitors and residents.
Nationally research carried out by VisitScotland estimated the value of cycling – excluding mountain biking – at between £117million and £239million each year.
The Crown Estate initiated the development of the BikeGlenlivet Centre near Tomintoul, which boasts 22km of mountain bike trails of which 9km are ‘blue routes’ – suitable for families with young children.
Head of Countryside Management for the Crown Estate, Andrew Wells, said: “Cycling tourism continues to be a growth area and there is a strong demand for good quality trails and a range of quality accommodation that serves bikers needs.
“The BikeGlenlivet centre is making a significant contribution to the local tourism on the Glenlivet Estate and new opportunities are being enjoyed by local businesses who are promoting themselves as ‘bike-friendly’.”
Now, in advance of a marketing campaign aimed at cyclists, Moray Speyside Tourism is urging businesses throughout the region to consider joining VisitScotland’s ‘Cyclists Welcome Scheme’.
Thirteen local businesses are members already, having met the ‘cyclist-friendly’ criteria as part of their VisitScotland Quality Assurance assessment.
One is Frances Reddy of the Lossiemouth House bed and breakfast, who said: “In my experience cyclists are all extremely nice people and very little trouble as they tend to all have an early night as they are so exhausted!
“Being part of the scheme is not too onerous at all and really just common sense – a shed for the bike, a warm place to dry their clothes and shoes and a hot bath and lots of warm drinks although not part of the scheme are always welcome!”
The Cyclists Welcome scheme will shortly be made available more widely to all businesses, including cafes, restaurants and visitor attractions – as well as accommodation providers. Joining the scheme costs only £25.00 per annum to qualifying businesses and organisations that are not VisitScotland Quality Assured.
As an extra incentive, the first twenty businesses who register for the scheme with Moray Speyside Tourism will pay only £15.00 each for the first year.
Esme Saville of Moray Speyside Tourism said: “Our cycling marketing campaign will promote the great range of cycling routes for all ages and abilities, as well as our cycle-friendly businesses, so now is the time for businesses of every kind to join the Cyclists Welcome scheme at the reduced rate.”
More information about the Cyclists Welcome scheme and its benefits can be obtained by emailing email@example.com.