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Tourism and Town Planning Impacts of Cycling in the Community

Tourism and Town Planning Impacts of Cycling in the Community


Posted October 25, 2021
Tourism & Events, Town Planning

An estimated 5.8 million Australian adults, or 29% of people aged between 18 and 90, spent money on cycling-related goods or services in 2020 alone.

That is one of the findings in a new report released this month by WeRide.

The report also found a spend of $1.2b on cycle tourism in 2020.

In 2020, WeRide, an independent national voice for cycling in Australia, commissioned Ernst & Young (E&Y) to conduct a study estimating the economic contribution of the cycling economy to Australia.

The report on this study – The Australian Cycling Economy: Estimating the size and scope of the Australian Cycling Economy in 2020 – has now been released.

As an avid cyclist, Chair of the Australian Cycling Academy, and an advocate for and active supporter of cycling events in our local area – including the Noosa Enduro – I welcome this report.

This is the first time Governments, wholesalers, retailers, bicycle-related organisations, and organisers and promotors of cycling events can gain insight into cycling and its impact on the economy.

What are Some Key Takeaways from the Report?

Overall there are some big numbers in the report. In 2020 the Australian cycling economy was estimated to have contributed $6.3 billion in direct industry output, including 34,295 direct full-time jobs.

The biggest surprise for us was that E&Y found that the economic contribution estimates of the Australian Cycling economy (estimated at $3.4b outranked the Australian Motorsport Industry (at $1b) and was equivalent to the Australian thoroughbred racing industry also at $3.4b.

On direct expenditure, bicycle purchases ranked the highest for contribution at $1.57b, but expenditure on bicycle-related tourism and services was a close second at $1.17b. This figure doesn’t factor in things like event entry fees or NRS teams.

Of cyclists who cycle at least once a month, 12% did so for mass cycling events, and another 11% did so for amateur or club races.

When you consider that 29% of the Australian adult population spent money on cycling in 2020, we start to get an impression of the size of the market for well organised, professional and accessible events.

Town Planning Impacts of Cycling in the Community

The report also found that the most significant impact local government can make to increase the number of trips undertaken by cyclists is the investment in bikeways in urban areas.

55% of people who rode at least once a fortnight would take two additional trips if government took action on this initiative. People who rode once a month would increase their trips by at least one trip.

The two equal second biggest investments to increase trips taken by cyclists was 1) more dedicated of-road and cycle trails, and 2) better connected separated bike paths to transport hubs or activity hubs.

Indirect Economic Benefits

Economically speaking, the numbers in the report focus on the direct, positive impact on the economy by the industry. The report does not consider other indirect benefits that cycling contributes to, including health and well-being, reducing congestion, and providing sustainable transport options. These benefits all have a significant impact on government expenditure on health, and roads and transport options.

Read more in the downloadable PDF version of The Australian Cycling Report.

Local, State or National Event Support

RG Strategic has extensive event management experience, especially when it comes to cycling events. We can support your event or organisation with event feasibility and alignment with local and regional branding, business plans, operational planning, infrastructure, budgeting support and much more.

Feel free to contact us to discuss your event needs today.

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