Last year’s World Travel Market’s Global Trends Report has revealed that cycling tourism is overtaking golf tourism’s popularity as more businessmen (middle-aged males) swap their golf clubs for bicycles.
In the world of retail, cycling accessories brands saw a boost of 28 percent (since 2010) according to Mintel, the UK Market for bike accessories.
In today’s age of consumerism, this shift in ‘business bonding’ will surely wind it’s way to affect travel, and in particular, the luxury and hotel industry.
1.) Popular bike trail locations may be developed
There are two ways in which this could happen. First, more hotels may be built near frequented bike trails. Most bike trails are out of town locations so the current selection of accommodation may be the bed and breakfast type.
The second thing in which this can occur is through hotel chains purchasing these said inns and bed & breakfast types and converting them to boutique hotels. This is because some bike trails are also located within protected National Parks so there are limitations to new constructions / renovations.
2.) Hotels with big land areas may include bike trails in addition to existing golf courses
Golf tourism will still be there. Based on the IAGTO Golf Tour Operator Survey Analysis of 2013, there is a growth on the demand for golf tourism in Asian countries. Depending culture and individual preferences, some still prefer to take their business on the greens.
So while cycling may be the new golf in general, a hotel shouldn’t be so quick to swap their golf greens to bike tracks. Hotels blessed in land area will be the big winners here, as having both would cater to the two kinds of entrepreneurs.
3.) Healthier Offerings in Restaurants / Hotels
As the influx of healthier business travellers arrive, so will the demand for healthy options. “Power breakfasts” may be ordered (high energy, high protein, low carb, etc) and as travellers also engage in more physical activities, hotel spa offerings may add remedial / sport recovery treatments and wellness programs.
4.) Added Insurance
Although cycling is a low-impact sport, it still offers greater risks than golf. Business travellers will likely insure themselves and their bikes. Insurance company Aviva has released figures showing that customers taking out additional cycle insurance rose by 75% from 2009 to 2015.
5.) Greener Hotels , Greener World
Just as business travellers are getting healthier and turning into cycling, so will our environment. To build and develop a golf course requires trees and sections of forests to be chopped down. The upkeep of the green golf courses also uses pesticides and more energy for mowing.
Meanwhile, bike trails require just a thin stretch of dirt through the forest and upkeep of this is extremely more natural and low maintenance compared to golf courses.