How to cite this study
Tourism British Columbia. 2013. Golden Mountain Bike Visitor Study 2011 Results. Research, Planning & Evaluation, Tourism British Columbia Ministry of Jobs, Tourism, and Skills Training.
Tourism British Columbia. 2013. Rossland Mountain Bike Visitor Study 2011 Results. Research, Planning & Evaluation, Tourism British Columbia Ministry of Jobs, Tourism, and Skills Training.
Tourism British Columbia. 2013. BC Input-Output Model Report: Mountain Biking in Rossland and Golden. Research, Planning & Evaluation, Tourism British Columbia Ministry of Jobs, Tourism, and Skills Training.
These studies found that the mountain bike trail systems in Golden and Rossland, British Columbia are destinations drawing visitors who would not otherwise have come to the area, providing a valuable economic boost. Respondents are drawn by the extent and diversity of trails, the ease of access to the trails, and the quality of trails.
These studies provide excellent examples of the detailed questions to ask if one is interested in developing a mountain bike-specific destination, targeting marketing to specific users, and improving visitors’ experience. Questions like what makes a town unique, what stands out as positive/negative in a town, and what other places do you like to visit, are valuable additions to the standard set of questions regarding economic impact and demographics. The surveys did not include estimates of trail use, so the studies are unable to measure the magnitude of visitor spending in the area.
The study is based in Rossland and Golden, British Columbia, in the southeastern part of the province. The two towns are roughly six hours apart. In 2011, Rossland had 3,556 residents and Golden had 3,701 residents.
Both towns are internationally recognized mountain biking destinations. Rossland has over 200km of trails, including the Seven Summits Trail which is 36km long and was named 2007 Trail of the Year by Bike magazine. Golden has 100km of trails, and is known particularly for its downhill-oriented trails.
The purpose of this study was to better understand mountain bike tourists in these two communities, including their spending patterns. These findings can be used to estimate use trends, identify unmet visitor needs, and develop promotion strategies building on the towns’ assets. The study was conducted by Tourism British Columbia, the provincial tourism agency.
- Respondents in Rossland spent an average of C$63 per person per day and respondents in Golden spent an average of C$87 per person per day. Golden mountain bikers spent more on accommodations, restaurants, and lift tickets than did mountain bikers in Rossland.
- Rossland mountain bikers spent C$589,000 and Golden mountain bikers spent C$930,000.
- Rossland and Golden mountain bikers both spend a median of three days in town.
- Two-thirds of respondents in Rossland stated that mountain biking was the single most important factor in their decision to visit. Three-quarters of respondents in Golden stated that mountain biking was the single most important factor in their decision to visit.
- The most common attribute identified as unique to Rossland was the diversity of trails open to mountain bikers (59% of respondents) followed by ease of trail access (21% of respondents).
- In Golden, the attributes most commonly identified as unique to the area were the quality and organization of the trails (78% of respondents) and diversity of trails open to mountain bikers (26%).
- Longer and additional trails were the most commonly requested improvements, mentioned by 30 percent of respondents in Rossland and 49 percent of respondents in Golden.
Volunteers interviewed mountain bike visitors to Rossland and Golden between July and September, 2011. Local residents and business travelers were excluded. Respondents were interviewed at trailheads and local bike shops. Those interviewed were asked to complete a follow-up survey either online or via mail.
In Rossland there were 209 original respondents and 105 usable follow-up surveys (50% response rate). In Golden there were 403 original respondents and 128 usable follow-ups (32% response rate). The authors used BCIOM, an input-output model specific to British Columbia, to estimate economic impacts.
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