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Visit Scotland | Alba

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1. Practical advice to create a high-quality experience for cyclists

Like all visitors, cyclists need a good Scottish welcome. First impressions are key - make sure you have a friendly, proactive and responsive attitude towards everyone. If you are genuinely enthusiastic about your business, this will rub off on your guests. There are, however, some key products and services that cyclists look for during a visit that need to be available to suit their schedules.

Read our top tips on how to improve the quality of the visitor experience for all cyclists and increase business profitability as a result.

2. Market insights from the latest cycling tourism research

We’ve recently conducted our "Scotland. Made for cycling" research paper and some of the key findings were:

Key statistics - Sustainable and inclusive tourism

Pent-up demand

From international markets due to favourable exchange rates


"Money-can’t-buy experiences" or "cost savings" are key drivers

Over 2.3 billion

Cycle tourism trips taking place in Europe every year

£37 billion

The estimated value of cycle tourism trips in Europe

Domestic tourism

338,000 road cycling trips, 1.3 million overnight stays and £154 million for the Scottish economy

£14 million

The value of a further 585,000 cycling day trips

£105 million

The economic value of Scotland’s mountain biking sector

0.5% and 0.8%

Scotland’s share of Europe’s volume and value of trips and spend

Sources: "The Benefits of Cycling" (2018) report by the European Cyclist's Federation, "Great Britain Tourism" (2019) survey by VisitBritain

Scotland. Made for Cycling

Published January 2023

Read our cycling topic paper

3. Visitor insights – Which visitors are interested in cycling trips?

Our key target audiences are “adventure seekers” and “experience seekers”. This is because they offer best prospects for growth and additional visits.

Cycling is an ideal activity for these audiences. It provides journeys of discovery, a means to re-balance wellbeing, and authentic experiences in nature.

  • Adventure seekers

    • 33% under 35, 38% aged 35-44 are typically energetic, sociable and career-minded individuals with an urban and adventurous outlook
    • They are above average holiday takers
    • They seek breaks featuring breathtaking landscapes and scenery
    • They're interested in new and interesting things to discover and have a great range of outdoor activities
    • Alongside enjoying adventure sports, they also enjoy historic and cultural experiences


  • Experience seekers

    • 33% aged 25-34, 26% aged 35-44 are free-spirited and spontaneous, and 66% like action-packed holidays
    • They like meeting new people and seeking out immersive experiences
    • On holiday, they’ll try local food and drink, outdoors activities and enjoy getting “hands-on” amidst stunning scenery
    • They like to visit famous places and have genuine cultural experiences

Further visitor insights

Desire to disconnect

Off-grid holidays and activities like bikepacking could be a great option for some visitors

Travel group

Couples dominates, solo travel on the rise. Connecting with friends / multi-generational important

Primary market

Scotland and wider UK

Secondary market

Germany and the Netherlands

4. Marketing advice – How to attract cycling visitors, and which channels to use

5. Cycling tourism trends

  • E-bikes

    These allow more users to go further and explore more. Halfords research forecasts that 1.5 million e-bikes will be sold in the UK in 2050. According to the Bicycle Association, around 165,000 were sold in 2022. More cycle hirers offer them, more charging points are appearing and there are even e-bike events taking place.


  • Gravel biking

    This is a type of cycling that sits between mountain biking and road cycling. It’s an ideal fit for Scotland linked to our progressive right of responsible access legislation.

Key statistics - Responsible tourism


Of Expedia travellers search for sustainable booking options

7 in 10 consumers

Will pay more for a travel choice that is more inclusive to all types of traveller

Several schemes are making cycling more accessible

6. 2023 UCI Cycling World Championships

Between 3-13 August, the 2023 UCI Cycling World Championships will take place in Glasgow and across Scotland. It'll bring together 13 UCI World Championship events in the biggest cycling event in history for the first time.

With the World Championships acting as a catalyst, the #powerofthebike is already coming to life through a number of projects. Many will shape cycling experiences in Scotland in future.

#powerofthebike projects

7. Useful resources – Information on routes, bike hire and public transport

We want to help your visitors plan out their ideal cycling experience. You can use this helpful list of resources to find information on cycling routes and trails, local bike hire and public transport options.

Where visitors can cycle to…

Getting visitors around Scotland on their bike…

Where to hire bikes…


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