The leisure cycling industry in Scotland has been valued at a whopping £239 million. That’s on par with golf tourism! But it should come as no surprise as Scotland has the varied terrains, beautiful scenery, wildlife and historic attractions to satisfy a wide range of cyclists. But do you know how to get the most out of this growing market? Are you unsure about how to reach leisure cyclists? Could there be an advantage in working with other local businesses? There can be a lot to think about.
Most importantly you need to know who these customers are, what they like and what they expect so your business can meet their expectations. Today’s industry experts will discuss how you can reach these leisure cyclists. They will also describe their own experiences in providing for leisure cyclists and what effect it has had on their business and the local area.
Mark Shimidzu, Wheels Cycling Centre, Trossachs Tryst Scotlands Premier Hostel Centre
Mark and his wife Janet started Wheels Cycling centre in 1988 and in 1996 built the Trossachs Tryst Hostel Centre. Mark is an active member of his community; he is the founder and chairperson of Callander business association and also helped set up Callander Community Development Trust.
Always looking to the future Mark has continually kept up with the changing tourism market, his business has changed significantly over the years. The luxury hostel which used to welcome more than 5000 guests annually is now a group’s only weekend venue. Wheels Cycling Centre started as a modest cycle hire business with 20 mountain bikes and has grown to become one of the largest cycle hire fleets in the country with anything up to 500 bikes available, specializing in large group events as well as operating a busy shop and service centre.
In his spare time (what little there is!) Mark enjoys tinkering with his pride and joy a couple of classic cars, walking with his wife Janet and the odd glass of wine with friends.
Neil Lapping, Macs Adventure
Neil Lapping is the founder and Chief Adventure Officer of Macs Adventure. Founded in 2003 Macs Adventure specialises in operating self-guided walking and cycling holidays in the UK, Europe and Worldwide destinations. Neil has grown the business from his kitchen table to a market leading adventure tour operator employing 28 people that operates over 500 tours in 35 countries welcoming over 13,000 clients in 2015.
Through his twin focuses of delivering high quality trips which enable guests to have transformative travel experiences and innovative digital marketing Neil has lead Macs Adventure in achieving sustained growth rates of in excess of 30% a year. Having recently opened a new subsidiary in Germany his current focus is on international expansion.
Sharing his passion for the outdoors and travel with his customers and team is what continues to motivate him in striving to make Macs Adventure the UK’s number 1 independent adventure tour operator.