THE PRESS ROOM - for immediate release

Cyclists spend over $95 million CAD ($64.6 million USD) annually along the Route verte

>> par Vélo Québec  Montréal, Monday, March 31, 2003 —The UQAM Chair of Tourism has conducted a major new study on the economic impact of the Route verte on behalf of Vélo Québec.

In 2000, the annual amount spent by cyclists travelling on the Route verte totalled $95.4 million CAD ($64.6 million USD). This represents 2,000 jobs (person years) and revenues of $15.1 million for the Government of Québec ($10.2 million USD) and $11.9 million ($8.1 million USD) for the Government of Canada.

Jean-François Pronovost, Executive Director of Vélo Québec, is pleased to release this new economic data: “These figures confirm that the Route verte is having an even more positive impact on tourism than we had anticipated,” he says. “Our previous studies on the economic impact of the Route verte, conducted in 1997, estimated that annual spending by users of the bikeway network would total $41 million ($28 million USD) as of its inauguration in 2005. So cyclists are currently spending almost twice as much as was predicted,” adds Pronovost.

This study was initially presented at a meeting of various Route verte partners, including government representatives, members of the cycling and tourism industries as well as bicycle retailers.

The Route verte, which will eventually comprise 4,300 kilometres (2671 miles), is currently over 75% complete in 10 of the 16 regions through which it passes.

Official guide to the Route verte
Vélo Québec also announced the publication of the third edition of Take a Ride on the Green Side: Official guide to bicycling on Québec’s Route verte. A very useful tool for planning cycling vacations, this enhanced edition now includes information on tourist associations, trail managers, bicycle retailers as well as various kinds of accommodations near the Route verte. This guide is available for $19.95 ($13.5 USD) at bookstores and bicycle retailers.

The Route verte is an original idea of Vélo Québec, realized in collaboration with the Government of Québec and regional partners.

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Summary of UQAM Chair of Tourism study

Vélo Québec asked the Chair of Tourism at Université du Québec à Montréal to assess the economic impact of the Route verte. The Chair produced an initial study in 1997. The surveys conducted in 2001 for Bicycling in Québec in 2000 resulted in the compilation of additional information facilitating a more accurate assessment of the spending habits of cyclists in Québec.

The current study quantifies the economic benefits associated with spending by users of the Route verte and with the Québec cycling industry. Here are the key findings of this study:

- To measure the spending of cyclists in Québec, we first identified the various customer segments:
- Athletic cyclotourists: tourists who travel primarily to cycle.
- Vacationing cyclotourists: tourists for whom cycling is one of several activities.
- Excursionists: people who take trips lasting less than 24 hours but over 80 kilometres long without spending the night away from home.
- Route-side residents: people who live near the Route verte.

- Spending by cyclists in Québec totalled over $166 million in 2000.

- In 2000, the Québec cycling industry had sales totalling over $181 million ($122 million USD) and sustained over 2,800 jobs (person years), generating revenues of $17.2 ($11.6 million USD) for the Government of Québec and $13.6 million ($9.2 million USD) for the Government of Canada.

- Québec produces 86% of the bicycles made in Canada: of the 960,000 bicycles manufactured, 825,000 are made in Québec. Approximately 30% of the bicycles sold in Canada are bought in Québec. In 2000, over 500,000 bicycles were sold in Québec.

- In 2000, Route verte cyclists spent a total of $95.4 million ($64.6 million USD). This corresponds to approximately 2,000 jobs (person years), revenues of $15.1 million ($10.2 million USD) for the Government of Québec and $11.9 million ($8.1 million USD) for the Government of Canada.

- Québec’s athletic cyclotourists spend 57% of the money associated with the use of the Route verte, or a total of $54.6 million ($37 million USD). People who live near the Route verte also spend a considerable amount of money on Route-related activities — over $24.5 million ($24 million USD).

- Based on a reasonable growth scenario, we estimate that following the inauguration of the Route verte in 2006, the amount spent annually by users will increase to $134 million ($91 million USD). This spending will generate over $38 million ($25.7 million USD) in government revenues and help support 2,861 jobs (person years).

( Source: Retombées économiques de la Route verte – March 2003 )

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