Ontario By Bike Network: 
Industry Update - April 2018
Uncovering New Business Opportunities 

Credit: Destination Ontario

Are you looking for ways to grow the number of cyclists visiting your region? Trying to encourage cyclists to stop, experience your location and spend money?

To fully develop a market ready cycle tourism destination, a combination of attributes, services and offerings under the following pillars are necessary: 
  • Regional and Local Cycling Product & Infrastructure 
  • Supporting Businesses, Services & Amenities 
  • Information Services & Marketing 
  • Partner and Community Support 
While it's important to look at the big picture, businesses and destinations can also start with simple and small tactics that engage and connect with cyclists and ultimately getting them through your front door. 

Consider not only how you are attracting cyclists to get off nearby trails and road routes , but when they arrive, how are you welcoming them and drawing them through your community (and to your businesses. 

Cyclists appreciate and remember those communities and individual businesses who welcome them with the amenities they need (think washrooms and water) and services (think patios or pop-up trail-side ice cream stands) and develop experiences that cater to their interests and desires (think 'pedal and paddle' or 'bike and beers' experiences). 

As we launch into the cycling season, we've put together a small resource document to jump start some ideas and help uncover some new opportunities for your business and your community to pursue. 

Digital Marketing Campaign

Ontario By Bike continues to work in partnership with Ontario's Regional Tourism Organizations, the Waterfront Regeneration Trust, Greenbelt Foundation, Destination Ontario (formerly OTMPC) and the Ministry of Tourism Culture and Sport on the execution of major digital marketing campaign to generate awareness of Ontario's cycling experiences outside of Ontario; in Quebec and US border states. 

A large focus of these campaigns are to promote cycling in Ontario from the Great Lakes to Greenbelt to Great North and showcasing the Great Lakes Waterfront Trail and the Greenbelt Route

2017-18 Campaign Timelines:
  • Flight 1: September 5, 2017 - October 15, 2017
  • Flight 2: February 6th - March 31st, 2018 (& targeting MTL market)
Since Fall 2017, the campaign has generated over 1 9.5 million impressions and over 290,000 clicks to www.ontariobybike.ca and a variety of targeted sub-pages on our website. 

We're witnessing tremendous growth in both the number of phone and email inquiries as well as web traffic from the targeted regions. As a result of various marketing campaigns, we have seen our consumer enewsletter database grow by 35% to over 14,400!

With additional marketing campaigns being planned, we're encouraging all businesses to make sure their listing details are updated as increased traffic to our site, means increased traffic to yours, and more cyclists looking for ride destinations in Ontario.
They're Moving Fast!

It's only May and we're already approaching the final few thousand copies of our very popular 2018 Cycling in Ontario / Le velo en Ontario guide! 

This 40-page guide is packed full of resources, feature stories and over 50 self-guided day-trip and overnight itineraries for recreational and experienced cyclists, as well as mountain bikers. It's no surprise both English and French versions are moving fast. 

To request copies of this free publication, and to assist with distribution, email quantity and shipping address to info@ontariobybike.ca

Consider posting the guide on social media or linking to a digital copy on your website. Visit www.ontariobybike.ca/2018    for more information.
2018 Destination Renewals

We are moving forward with our destination partner renewals for 2018, having hosted a series of Cycle Tourism webinars last week for stakeholders across Northumberland County, Ottawa Valley and Lanark County. 

We are currently verifying all certified locations in these regions.  If your business is located in one of the following areas, please assist us by taking less than 5 minutes to verify your listing:
Coming soon: As the spring progresses we will be working on the 2018 renewals for the following regions: Simcoe County, Halton Region; City of Hamilton; Oxford, Elgin and Middlesex Counties. If you are located in one of these regions stay tuned for more information via direct email, over the coming months. 

Thank you!
Celebrating Bikes

This spring there are a number of bike celebrations internationally and locally that together are recognizing the value of bikes for transportation and recreation and ultimately growing the size of the market.

More cyclists = More cycle tourists

Bike Month
Many communities in Ontario have events in late May / early June. For the GTHA, events kick off with Bike to Work Day on May 28.

Bike Travel Weekend
Promoting travel by bike, cyclists are joining hundreds of rides across the US, Canada and internationally, for overnight trips. Our June 2 to 3 Ontario By Bike Ride, Toronto Trails and Ravines tour is pleased to be one of the Bike Travel Weekends offerings.

World Bicycle Day
The United Nations recently declared June 3rd as World Bicycle Day, to celebrate the bicycle and its contributions to sustainable development world-wide.
Ontario By Bike Workshop at
Eastern Ontario Active Transportation Summit

If you are located in south eastern Ontario, you don't want to miss the Eastern Ontario Active Transportation Summit being hosted in Brockville May 10 to 11. Ontario By Bike will be hosting a half day learning workshop, along with interactive sessions and a panel of speakers looking at opportunities for further development around, and reaching, the growing cycle tourism market. This session will be held on day 2 of the Summit, May 11. Come join us. Find out more HERE.

Provincial Updates
There are a couple of new developments at the Provincial level, with the finalizing of several projects and reports since our last industry enewsletter in February. 

Province-Wide Cycling Network: After several years in the making, including consultations and input from municipalities and the general public, the final report and recommendations - plus map - of the proposed 9,800km network is available. Have a look at the recommended routing through your region, and the proposed next steps for implementation. 

#CycleON Action Plan 2.0: Taking the 2013 Cycling Strategy forward, Action Plan 2.0 outlines what directions will be the focus to take cycling to the next level.

View both reports here: www.ontario.ca/cycling
Ontario By Bike is pleased to have played an active role in both projects.
Stay Connected with Ontario By Bike!
Share your destination or business posts using the hashtag #OntarioByBike & #BikeON!
Share the Road - 2018 Opinion Poll
Key findings from an online survey of Ontarians, commissioned by Share the Road Cycling Coalition, were released at the 2018 Ontario Bike Summit on April 18th. 

Overall, a majority of Ontarians either strongly support or somewhat support policies and investments by the Ontario government to promote cycling and make it more safe and more convenient. 

Of particular interest for the tourism sector, over half of Ontarians strongly agree or somewhat agree that Ontario should provide more financial support to municipal and regional bike tourism initiatives.

The survey was conducted by Nanos Research and gathered responses of 1,004 Ontarians, 18 years of age or older, between April 5th and 10th, 2018.  Read the summary and full report at  www.sharetheroad.ca .
Let's Make it Our Best Yet!

With the wintry weather behind us, there are growing numbers of cyclists out on the roadways and trails exploring Ontario by bike with family and friends. With an increasing number of cycling events, tours and resources available to consumers, and the amount of people inquiring and requesting Ontario cycling information also on the rise, we are certain 2018 will be a great year. 

This year we are going to increase our industry communications and will be sending this enewsletter bi-monthly. Stay tuned for more updates on programming as well as resources to help your business, and your community attract more cyclists and grow the market.

Are you an Ontario By Bike certified bicycle friendly business? Send us images of cyclists at your location, share a story of things you've done to welcome cyclists or let us know if you are offering something new for cyclists. We want to share these with our large following and community of cyclists!

We are always keen to hear back from industry partners, so please don't hesitate to contact us directly by email. 

Until next time, c heers 
From Louisa & Michael 

Ontario By Bike Network 
Project of Transportation Options 
850 Coxwell Ave ~ Toronto, ON ~ M4C 5R1 
Office: 416-827-2774 
Toll-Free: 1-866-701-2774