Ayrshire businesses get on their bikes

Published on : Saturday, May 23, 2015

xue2pejoivyc2x01gyqaDozens of businesses in Ayrshire and Arran have already got on their collective bikes as they strive to make the region one of the most cyclist-friendly regions in Scotland.

And now even more are expected to sign up to the VisitScotland Cyclists Welcome Scheme, thanks to funding from Ayrshire and Arran Tourism.

The Scheme requires accommodation businesses to subscribe to a number of criteria, including:

providing cyclists with somewhere safe and secure to store their bikes a space in which to dry outdoor clothing and footwear facilities to prepare packed lunches a supply of local cycling routes available for visitor reference.

Other criteria is stipulated for non-accommodation businesses, including knowing the location of the nearest bicycle repair shop and, where possible, having a supply of literature detailing local cycle routes.

VisitScotland Cyclists Welcome accreditation is free to members of the national tourism organisation’s Quality Assurance Scheme, but Ayrshire and Arran Tourism have funding for non-QA businesses to help promote their two-wheel credentials.

There is an opportunity for everyone from bike repair and hire shops, cafes and restaurants, visitor attractions, caravan and camping parks and serviced/self catering and hostel accommodationto have their first year of membership (normally £25 plus VAT) paid for. This will give them a seal of approval that cyclists visiting the region can instantly recognise.

With research carried out by Transform Scotland showing that the total value of cycle tourism – by residents and visitors, touring and leisure cycling – in Scotland is up to £239 million per year, cycling presents a real opportunity.

Annique Armstrong, Regional Director at VisitScotland, said:

“The stunning countryside and wide range of routes around Ayrshire and Arran make this region popular among cyclists. If a cyclist sees that a business is a member of our Cyclists Welcome Scheme, they know that they will have access to a range of facilities and information that will make their stay all the more convenient and memorable.

“Tourism is more than a holiday experience – it creates jobs, sustains communities and provides an international shop window for Scotland. Scotland has a global reputation for cycling and we need to make the most of the tourism opportunity here.”

Julie Sloan, Tourism Development Office at Ayrshire and Arran Tourism, said:

“There is a huge growth in the cycling market and Ayrshire and Arran Tourism are delighted to be working in partnership with VisitScotland to make the most of this opportunity.

“We aim to develop and promote cycling in the area and this is a great offer to join the VisitScotland Cyclists Welcome Scheme.We encourage many sectors to join and it helps to highlight to visiting cyclists that your business will welcome and cater for their needs. There is also potential to create cycle routes and trails linking together cyclist welcome businesses.”

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