Does the mountain biking community, which pays not a cent to enjoy its high-impact hobby in other peoples’ environments, think about these things?
The commercial advantages of introducing mountain biking tourism to an area are always emphasised by the local councils, state governments, and tourism operators who see economic gain.
However, local residents who have lived in a formerly quiet township are being impacted by the ever-increasing influx of mountain biking, and it is not all good news:
⦁ House prices and rentals can become inflated as investors arrive to take advantage of the accommodation needs of mountain bikers. This often drives away long-term residents who can no longer afford to live there
⦁ Small communities with scant emergency services are expected to accommodate mountain biking accidents that commonly occur, leaving local communities with diminished emergency services
⦁ Small local businesses (e.g. local café) can find themselves competing with an influx of mountain biking-oriented food outlets
⦁ Quiet streets become congested with the influx of cars and buses ferrying riders up the mountains
⦁ Formerly peaceful bush walks are often spoiled by the presence of riders, travelling at speed and disrupting walkers and wildlife
⦁ Job opportunities offered by the mountain biking tourism industry are limited and transient, with profits going to select specialised businesses such as bike shops and bus operators
⦁ It is the local rate payers, most of whom do not participate in this sport, who must fund additional infrastructure needed to service mountain biking, for example toilets, parking areas and the ongoing maintenance of the tracks”
Couple of relevant links:
Tracking Economic Impact of
the Panda Bear Attraction at the Adelaide ZooDownload