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Motorcyclists and the UK tourist indust

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The warmer weather has started, the World Cup has kicked off and as the first signs of summer are underway the MCI can reveal that motorcycle-related tourism expenditure in the UK is around £569 million, supporting approximately 13,250 tourism jobs. 

A survey carried out for the industry by GHK researched the impact of bikers on the tourist industry and found that the average motorcycle tourist is spending around £380 per annum taking into account food, drink accommodation and other services.

The South West is currently getting the most out of motorcycle tourism receiving 17.3% of the total spend. The South East (11.2%), London (11.2%) and the North West (11.1%) are the runners up.

Motorcycle usage is very seasonal and is twice as high between May and August as it is between December and February.  This is likely to be because it is more enjoyable and safer to ride during good weather conditions, but is also likely to be indicative of the strong links between motorcycling and tourism.

Hoteliers, restaurant owners and other tourist related organisations could be getting more money from the bike pound, especially as since last year more people have been choosing to stay in the UK for their holidays. There is also an untapped market in European tourists, who currently come to the UK in much smaller numbers than UK riders travel abroad.

Providing secure parking, advertising as bike-friendly and extending promotion in the right areas could easily increase the number of motorcyclists and capitalise on a growing market.

Number of Visitors - 23,000 international riders visit the UK  compared to around 100,000 independent riders from the UK who take tourism related motorcycling trips abroad each year, so with the right promotion and marketing there is a lot of potential to attract more non UK tourists.

Current Spend of Overseas Tourists - Overseas motorcycling tourists are estimated to account for £17 million of motorcycling-related tourism (2008 prices) - which gives rise to an additional net additional economic impact at the national level.  This excludes expenditures of overseas visitors at UK sports and leisure events.

Supporting Jobs - The total tourism spending associated with motorcycling supports more than 13,000 tourism jobs in the UK, of which approximately 400 are supported by expenditure from overseas 'motorcycling' visitors.

Steve Kenward, MCIs CEO commented, ' This survey has shown us that the UK tourist industry is making important financial gains from motorcyclists. At the moment, there are certain areas in the UK that are seeing bigger gains, but there is a huge untapped market for the tourist industry to tap into.

"Currently, we only receive about one quarter of the number of riders that travel abroad from the UK, so we should be looking to attract more overseas visitors as well as improving the ' tourist' experience for British motorcyclists. Providing secure parking, offering discounts for groups, creating links with sporting events and generally offering a bike- friendly environment will lead to longer stays, more spending and happier customers."

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