Tableland businesses could cash in on lucrative biking dollar
TABLELAND businesses are being encouraged to make mountain bike riders feel welcome - to put more dollars in their tills.
According to the Tableland Integrated Mountain Bike Alliance, mountain bike riders are often well-heeled professionals aged from their mid 20s to early retirees.
TIMBA’s goal is to promote the Tableland as a world class mountain bike tourist destination with a potential to generate $17 million a year in MTB dollars.
Already, there are trails available for mountain bike riding at Herberton, Atherton and Mareeba.
But there is also an extensive network of old forestry roads and old mining roads with the potential for hundreds of kilometres more trail.
TIMBA and the Tableland Outdoor Recreation Association is pursuing government grants to turn the vision of a network of
interlinking trails – not just for MTB but for walking, horse riding and four-wheel drives as well – into reality.
“We need major investment to make it happen,” said TIMBA spokeswoman Leasie Felderhof.
TIMBA will conduct workshops over the next couple of weeks explaining to businesses how they can generate extra cash from mountain bikers – and leave visitors with a good feeling about the region.
Dr Felderhof said that typically, mountain bikers stayed longer, spent more money and looked to explore a region.
“The aim is to get local businesses across the region to be aware of the benefits that mountain bike trails can bring.
“They may arrive sweaty, dusty and hungry but a good experience will ensure they bring repeat clientele to your business,” she said.
TIMBA said that eventually the Tableland could attract up to 60,000 MTB tourists a year.
Its presentations advise local cafes, motels and B&Bs that bikes are precious to their owners, often costing thousands of dollars.
Offering safe storage overnight could add value to the business.
TIMBA’s tick-list includes having a place to wash down bikes at the end of the day, provide early breakfasts and nutritious packed lunches full of carbohydrates.
A drying room for clothes, shoes and gear is also suggested which would keep them out of bedrooms.
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Cash in: A Tableland group urges businesses to tap into mountain biking money.