Viewpoint : August 2018

Bicycle tourism on the occasion of the 25th Grand Tour Desjardins!

In just a few days, eighteen hundred cyclists will embark on an excursion through the Lower St. Lawrence – one of Québec’s most beautiful biking destinations – as part of the 25th Grand Tour Desjardins, from August 4 to 10. For some, it will be a challenge, a new experience or even an annual tradition. For others, it will be a family trip, a vacation with friends, an opportunity to reunite with other cyclists, or simply a week of pure enjoyment!
No matter how you view the Grand Tour Desjardins, this crazy dream of getting nearly 2,000 people on their bikes for a week has truly put road biking and bike touring on Quebecers’ agenda. However, it was not a sure bet when we launched the event in 1994. In fact, nearly half of the cyclists pedalled the first GTD on a mountain bike! Much progress has been made since then and the popularity of road biking has grown, introducing people to joy of taking on a cycling challenge, while discovering unfamiliar regions and landscapes. The Grand Tour Desjardins has therefore sparked interest in other destinations and two-wheel adventures, both here and abroad.
The financial spinoffs of bike touring in Québec are well documented, with $700 million injected annually into local and regional economies. In the regions visited, the Grand Tour Desjardins is recognized as a true catalyst in the bike travel boom. Over the years, it has helped several regions, both within and outside Québec (mainly Ontario), position themselves as “official bike touring destinations”. This has led to initiatives promoting local products to a clientele that thrives on such delicacies. It has also motivated regional players to develop offerings that make cycling tourists want to come back!
Over the past 25 years, the Grand Tour Desjardins and the Route verte have cemented Québec’s reputation as a prime bike touring destination for anyone, living here or abroad, in search of adventure.
Have a great bike trip!

Suzanne Lareau
President and CEO