Developing International MTB Tourism Destinations – Learning from the Italian Dolomites
Insight into the tourism and economic contribution that a joined up bike and adventure product can bring to a destination will be the focus of two evening presentations hosted by Developing Mountain Biking in Scotland (DMBinS).
The evenings will feature Luca D’Angelo, Destination Manager at Dolomiti Paganella Tourism Board – the lead in the Bike Paganella Dolomiti project, in the Tweed Valley on 3rd October and Ballater, Aberdeenshire on 6th October.
Based within the stunning Italian Dolomites, the region Paganella, with its main towns of Molveno and Andalo, has a growing reputation for the quality of its purpose built trails, sustainably using the area’s best enduro trails to create fantastic enduro tours and attracting international events and festivals.
Over the last 5 years the destination has worked together with local businesses, members of the MTB community and the local and regional authorities to develop 3 dedicated bike zones. Promoting over 60km of the best single track, 3 pump tracks, flow trails and providing a world class visitor experience.
Local businesses and anyone who provides a service to mountain bikers in Scotland, should attend one of these workshops. Businesses will gain a valuable insight into how working together the Bike Paganella Dolomiti project have helped attract over 60,000 new biking visitors to the area and provided these new visitors with a range of custom experiences.
Graeme McLean, Head of Developing Mountain Biking in Scotland (DMBinS), explains further:
“Supported by our regional co-ordinators we know we are making great progress in both the Tweed Valley and Aberdeenshire. Undoubtedly there are lessons we can learn from how other destinations have used a joined up approach and have businesses working together to improve visitor experiences. We are really excited about Luca’s presentations and how we can help businesses to adopt, or customise, some of the good practice they have developed in the Dolomites. I have seen Luca present at conferences before and he has a real passion for mountain biking and destination development.”
The Tweed Valley evening will feature an update from Ed Shoote, the DMBinS Tweed Valley co-ordinator, on the successes of the Leader funded project to date in increasing the mountain bike economy. Although there has been great progress he explains why learning from other destinations and business collaborations is so important:
“We know that the Tweed Valley has every opportunity to continue to develop its bike and adventure offer, in order to attract more of this growing tourism market. It is important that we benchmark our progress against other destinations and seek to see how we can integrate some of their best practices into creating better experiences for our visitors.”
The bike and adventure markets are also growing in Aberdeenshire. Tourism, with adventure tourism a key component, being one of four areas identified to diversify the economy from an over reliance on the oil industry. Jennifer Craw, Opportunity North East, explains:
“We have an exciting tourism economy in the North East and our stunning natural environment supports our ambition to grow the adventure market and become a leading adventure tourism destination. The joined up approach being led by DMBinS will help share learning and experience and is a great opportunity for regional businesses and the MTB community to come together to hear from an international speaker and go on to develop a world class product and service in Aberdeenshire.”
The evening in Aberdeenshire will also host an update on progress in the area from DMBinS regional co-ordinator, Will Clarke.
Places at both evenings are limited and are on a first come, first served basis.
Register for Tweed Valley Evening – 7-9pm Thursday 3rd October at Mountain Bike Centre of Scotland, Peel Tower, Glentress, EH45 8NB
Register for Aberdeenshire Evening – 6.30pm – 8.30pm Sunday 6th October at World Horse Welfare, Belwade Farm, Dess, Aboyne, AB34 5BJ Aberdeenshire