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VISIT ISLE OF WIGHT PEDDLE THE ISLAND TO CYCLE TOURISTS

Newly appointed to Visit Isle of Wight, Tom Ransom, who was employed through the Isle of Wight Council’s successful Local Sustainable Transport Fund (LSTF) bid, is busy wheeling out a set of exciting tourism opportunities around holidays by bike.

Cycle Tourism is growing all over the globe with a wealth of stunning routes being developed to capitalise on the economic benefits. Tom moved to the Island from New Zealand where he was involved in the NZ government’s 60 Million dollar NZ Cycle Trail scheme.  Now keen to put this experience to good use, he is currently developing branding and marketing plans to ensure the Isle of Wight is at the forefront of the cycle tourism movement.

Tom says “2014 is the Year of the Bike, with a perfect storm of interest in cycling gripping the nation”  and Tom believes the Island has some world class cycle routes, “the round island and our cycle ways on old railways are assets that have real potential to pull new visitor to the Island if we get the marketing right.”

And modern cycle tourists have an impressive spending profile:

Tom says “Cycle tourists nowadays are looking for high-end accommodation and back-up services like baggage transfers and they are prepared to pay well for it.  It’s less about speedy Lycra super heroes, more about active over 50’s using comfort bikes on four night tours. That way, they can relax and enjoy our stunning scenery and have lots of opportunities to stop and spend.”

Tom has also sent out invites to a Cycle Tourism workshop on 18th February between 11.30 and 14.00.  It’s a chance for the Island tourism sector to learn about opportunities for their businesses and see how Visit Isle of Wight’s “Bicycle Island” brand is developing. Speakers will present on cycle tourism case studies from the UK and overseas and after lunch, the workshop sessions on Bicycle Island will kick off.

Tom says “So many people on the island have worked for years to develop cycle business and routes on the Island. It’s important for them to be involved in the next phase of the industry’s development.”

Anyone interested in attending this or future cycle tourism workshops should contact Tom for an invitation and further information – he is available at Visit Isle of Wight on 01983 201048, or email him on tom@visitwight.org.

Tom is also attending the Telegraph Outdoor Show where he will be supporting the IW Council’s event team in promoting their annual cycling festival held in September and drumming up even more interest in “Bicycle Island”.

 

-ENDS-

For further information, or images, please contact:   Sue Emmerson, Visit Isle of Wight Press Officer

Tel: 07766 705672, E-mail: sue@visitwight.co.uk

Notes to editors:

  1. Image attached shows Tom and his son Oliver enjoying the Island’s cycle “Rail Trail” from Cowes to Sandown.
  2. Working in partnership with Visit England, Visit Isle of Wight Ltd (VIOW) is responsible for developing tourism and attracting more visitors to the Isle of Wight.   As well as the consumer website (www.visitisleofwight.co.uk) the DMO also operates a small industry
  3. website containing recent research and tourism news along with links to Visit England reports and opportunities: www.visitwight.org

The Local Sustainable Transport Fund (LSTF) was launched by the Government in September 2010.  The Fund provides an opportunity for local transport authorities outside London to ‘build on their plans for taking forward sustainable travel measures…and to develop enhanced packages of measures that support economic growth and reduce carbon’ and ‘could also help to tackle problems of air quality and deliver improvements in public health and transport safety’. https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/local-sustainable-transport-fund

LSTF funding is aimed at improving the access and ease of non-car transport to tourists and is an important part of Visit Isle of Wight’s plan to grow the tourism economy – bike tourism is an obvious fit.

The Isle of Wight Cycling Festival, 14th to 29thSeptember, organised by the Isle of Wight Council, provides cyclists the opportunity to get off the beaten track and experience some of the Island’s most beautiful, unspoilt countryside. There is a wide selection of fantastic cycle rides for all levels of ability, whether you are a novice or an experienced cyclist.  http://www.sunseaandcycling.com/