How Mountain Biking Positively Affects Local Economies
Benefits of Mountain Biking on the Local Economy
Trails and greenways create healthy recreation and transportation opportunities by providing people of all ages with attractive, safe, accessible places to bike, walk, hike, and jog. In doing so, they make it easier for people to engage in physical activity. With more health-focused initiatives in progress and more trails on the ground than ever before, the evidence is beginning to accumulate showing the extent of the positive impact trails and greenways have had on public health
People who ride bikes buy bikes that create jobs in bike shops and apparel stores. Bikers also purchase other goods and services; as a result, bike-accessible businesses benefit by supplying those goods/services to these consumers. People who ride bikes will probably visit local stores and businesses more frequently. People who ride bikes on vacation also buy food, fuel, and hotel stay, generating millions of dollars for cities and towns that would not otherwise happen. The best way to attract the bikers and create these benefits in the community is by creating an infrastructure that makes it more attractive for the people to ride.
Types of bicycle tourism:
1. Self-contained travelers who usually carry their gears along on the ride and their primary needs are camping, grocery, and internet access;
2. Ride-centered travelers generally stay overnight in one location and ride during the day. Hence, amenities like hotels and restaurants are important to them
3. Event-centered travelers participate in organized rides/events of various length
4. Urban-cycling travelers generally go to a community and spend most of their time in the community riding bicycle and visiting museum, galleries, and places
Benefits to local residents:
Trail opportunities contribute to the local economy by providing the means of active transportation to the visitors and the residents in rural and urban areas.
Trails and greenways contribute to the value of the property adjacent to it as property owners recognize the quality of life that came with the property.
Benefits to businesses:
Trails can provide recreational opportunities and healthier lifestyles reducing the cost of healthcare.
By attracting visitors both day users and overnight visitors, trails can create new jobs and businesses. Visitors from outside the local area may travel to the area to use a destination trail. In addition to the direct effect on business income and jobs, visitors spending has an indirect multiplier effect on the community. Because the employees and business owners spend their wages and earnings in the community and the local/state governments receive more tax revenues. Economic impacts are higher when the trails are linked to the local shops and commercial establishments, which supply the goods and services to the trail users such as, restaurants, groceries, retail stores, campgrounds, hotels, visitor centers, and apparel stores.
Trails can provide access to natural areas, which can increase awareness of environmental issues and promote conservation efforts. This can have long-term economic benefits by preserving natural resources and maintaining the region's natural beauty.
Investing in the Economy:
Trails and high-quality natural and cultural resources attract businesses and corporations who recognize the quality of life benefits from the greenways.
The intangible benefits associated with any recreational activity such as, biking and/or hiking also creates an intrinsic value to the recreationist. This intrinsic value is defined as, consumer surplus. It is measured as a difference between the actual cost of a trip and the dollar amount a consumer is willing to pay to enjoy a day of biking and/or hiking along a trail. The economists use surveys to collect data/information from the recreationists and apply sophisticated econometric models to determine the dollar value of a trip specific to a trail, the value of each attribute along the trail, and the total use value of all biking trails and the greenways.