News Local

Making the Ottawa Valley more cycle-friendly

By Celina Ip

Tour de Bonnechere 2015

Tour de Bonnechere 2015

EGANVILLE – Ontario By Bike is looking to make the Ottawa Valley more cycle-friendly.

 

On April 5, Ontario By Bike in partnership with the Ottawa Valley Tourist Association (OVTA), hosted a Cycle Tourism Development Meeting at the Eganville Community Centre.

Geared towards local tourism operators, a total of 25 participants attended the meeting, including owners and managers of restaurants, hotels, tourist attractions and retail businesses.

The meeting provided participants with tools and information to help them make their businesses more cycle-friendly to develop the Ottawa Valley’s appeal as a prime destination for cyclists.

Among the tools suggested were the installation of bike racks or secure bike storage in hotel and restaurant parking lots, having bicycle repair tool sets available at tourism businesses for cyclists to use, providing cyclists with healthy food and beverage options and ensuring that tourism and cycling maps are available at all businesses.

“The cycling market is a little bit different than the average tourist, so much like snowmobilers and ATV-ers they need to be catered to a little bit differently. We organize these meetings because we want to ensure that as we start promoting our region as a cycle destination, we are ready to meet the demands of the cyclists and welcome them to this region,” said Melissa Marquardt, marketing coordinator with the OVTA.

By implementing these tools, local businesses will be welcoming cyclists who will in turn support the economic growth within the region by sleeping, shopping and eating at those cycle-friendly hotels, restaurants and retail businesses.

“We take a visitor-centrist approach with everything that we do so everything is tailored to the cycling tourists that are coming to this region and we just want to make sure that all of the operators who are going to be catering to those tourists in our community are ready and prepared to meet their needs,” said Marquardt.

With summer just around the corner and Eganville’s annual Tour de Bonnechere cycling event taking place this August, Ontario By Bike is eager to see local tourism operators implement these new tools within the next few months.

For more information about how to make a business bicycle-friendly, visit: ontariobybike/criteria

cip@postmedia.com