Discover how bicyclists can bring business to your community
Imagine...dozens of weary but happy bicyclists arriving at the edge of your community on a summer afternoon, all of them hungry and thirsty, some intending to stay the night, and most eager to explore your canal community, to experience its history and uniqueness. Imagine, too, that these self-propelled tourists later go home and tell family members, friends, co-workers, and other bicyclists about their wonderful visit.
Do you see economic opportunity here? Of course! To some degree this opportunity already has become reality along New York's historic Canal System, especially along the Erie Canalway Trail. But the potential economic benefit to your community or business from touring bicyclists can be much greater if you actively welcome this relatively new kind of visitor.
2015 Bicyclists Bring Business Roundtable and Bike-a-Round Read Report
Our most recent “BICYCLISTS BRING BUSINESS!” roundtable and bike-a-round was September 2015 at Proctors Theatre, Schenectady, NY. The evening roundtable covered the demographics and needs of the bicycle tourist as well as offered tips for making communities and businesses more business-friendly and attractive to outdoor recreationalists. Attendees received a free copy of the handbook, Bicyclists Bring Business, a Guide to Attacting Bicyclists to New York's Canal Communities.
The next morning, participants biked along the Erie Canalway/ Mohawk-Hudson Bike-Hike Trail into Schenectady and experienced the city from the perspective of a cycling tourist. The “Bike-a-Round” used the previous evening’s presentation as a basis for experiencing the City of Schenectady and Erie Canalway Trail as a cycling tourist.
View the presentations from the roundtable discussion:
Learn more about the cyclists that travel the Erie Canalway Corridor now as well as how your business and community can market to and profit from future cycling tourists. Attendees at the Bicyclists Bring Business roundtable receive a copy of Parks & Trails New York’s guidebook, “Bicyclists Bring Business: A Guide for Attracting Bicyclists to New York’s Canal Communities.”
Suggestions for increasing local bicycle tourism from previous roundtables:
- share and distribute information about benefits of bicycle tourism via meetings, signage, maps, brochures, and public education among business owners, tourism offices, and nearby attractions
- focus on services that are particularly important to bicyclists, such as lodging and campsites, local maps, transport of luggage, bicycle repairs and bicycle security
- link local trails into a larger network of potential users
- promote local events and bicycle-friendliness on web and elsewhere
- anticipate issues that may arise, such as trail appropriateness for bicycles and conflicts with walkers and motorized vehicles
- modest investments can result in a substantial boost for tourism