Viewpoint : November 2013

Bicycle tourism – a promising sector for Quebec

On October 24, Vélo Québec organized a popular forum on Tourism, Biking and the Route verte. The last event of this type was held in 2004, so, needless to say, those present (over 200) had a lot to share and discuss. The forum made it possible to take stock of the situation in Quebec and identify the work to be done to increase the presence of bike tourists on our roads.

The discussions revealed that Quebec’s offering of bicycle products with tourist potential has developed well over the past 10 years. It is mainly in the area of marketing that efforts must be made to ensure that the industry effectively targets interested clients.  It is fair to say that our closest neighbours (Ontario, New Brunswick and the northwestern United States) do not naturally associate Quebec with biking when planning their vacations. We must show them that biking makes it possible to discover the province and connect with its inhabitants like no other mode of transportation. It is this aspect of Biking in Quebec that must be marketed and sold to tourists who choose Quebec.

In addition to focusing on marketing, we must provide tourists with quality information about cycling routes, accommodations, bike/train/bus interconnections, baggage transportation services, etc. – in short, everything that revolves around biking, makes cyclists’ lives easier and enhances their tourist experience. While Quebec has a head start on the provinces and neighbouring states with its Route verte and wide range of cyclist services, the United States is beginning to recognize the full potential of bicycle tourism and invest in efforts to attract tourists. In short, this is no time to rest on our laurels. We must be proactive and instill in the minds of Americans and Canadians that Biking in Quebec is a must!

If the issue of bicycle tourism interests you, we suggest that you read the article in TourismExpress, which sums up the situation well.

Suzanne Lareau
President and CEO, Vélo Québec

Sylvain Gaudreault, Minister of Transport and Minister of Municipal Affairs, Regions and Land Occupancy (QC) and Suzanne Lareau, President and CEO (Vélo Québec), October 24, 2013.