Day by day many destinations, communities and institutions seem to understand the importance and impact of mountain bike tourism. Therefore, the fact of developing new mountain bike trails, is very significant and highly evaluate by local communities.
In Greece in particular lately, the law framework has been established for the purpose-built mountain bike trails. As a result more and more bikers are trying to develop mtb trails for their destinations.
But is the trail system sufficient for the development of a mountain bike destination? Is trail building, what it takes for a successful project?
It is a common view, that constructing and maintaining purpose-build, sustainable trails, is the most important element for a successful mountain bike destination. And that is a fact. We should not expect highly correspondence from the mtb community, without perfect, sustainable, purpose-built mountain bike trails. The “soul” of a mountain bike destination is the trails.
Still, it is very important to keep in mind that mountain bike trails, in their overwhelming majority, do not produce direct incomes on their own.
Even when money is needed for ticket or pass at Bike Parks, Trail Centres, etc. the price concerns the uplifts and not the use of the trails.
So, which is the element that produces incomes for a destination if trails are not?
And why we keep saying that purpose-built trails are the most important element?
Let’s take a look at a very familiar case. Here in Greece, we have the privilege to have a huge coastline with some of the most beautiful beaches all over the world.
It’s very obvious that sea and beaches are not producing direct incomes. It is the business and services around that features, that are responsible for the tourism economical growth.
That is exactly what is happening at mountain bike destinations. Trail System is the “sea and beaches” and services such as accommodation, food and beverages, bike rentals and shops, guidance, even health and insurance services are the elements that add incomes for local communities.
Trails on the other hand is the element that not adds but multiplies those incomes at this equation!
And that is why trails are the most important element!
Mountain bike holidays is one of the most popular tourism products, with a growing demand from large and high level target groups.
It is very crucial for mountain bike destinations, to offer extreme high level services for mountain bike travellers.
And it is very crucial to work in this direction, if we want to see Greece high in ranking, at the promising and profitable market of mountain bike tourism.