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UK Businesses Losing Out on the Biker Pound

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The leisure and tourism industry is missing out on the biker pound from European travellers as a new MCI analysis of official statistics shows that almost four times as many British bikers cross the Channel for their holidays as come the other way.

100,000 independent bikers travel abroad by ferry or the channel tunnel for their holidays in Europe, whereas only 23,000 European riders visit the UK.

According to the MCI's analysis, if UK tourist businesses could attract the same number of bikers to the UK as leave the UK for holidays, over £30 million pounds per week could be generated.

There are many British icons that will appeal to European bikers from enjoying the best of British food, local delicacies and the full English breakfast , to the fantastic scenery and the many historical heritage sites including the legendary biker venue the Ace Café.

Research carried out by the Motor Cycle Industry Association reveals that UK bikers are already a lucrative market as they contribute nearly £400 million to UK tourism.

In its survey of more than 2,000 riders and non-riders from across the UK, the MCI found that 84% of the UK's 1.5 million riders prefer to holiday by motorcycle for holidays, short breaks and days out - even though the majority have access to a car.

One-quarter of riders use motorcycles as their preferred mode of transport to enjoy days-out in the UK. One-in-six take weekend short-breaks by bike and one-in-fifteen holiday on two-wheels . The average spend by motorcyclists is £68 per day on accommodation, food and entertainment.

In the current economic climate, where the tourism industry is encouraging British people to enjoy a 'staycation', it would seem wise to capitalise on the potential European bike market too.

MCI Spokesperson, Sheila Rainger said "We are currently attracting a very low percentage of European riders. If we could attract the same number of bikers to the UK as leave the UK for holidays the industry could potentially generate over £30 million in income for every week they spent on holiday in the UK.

"Holidaying by bike is an excellent way of seeing more of the UK's tourist attractions and stunning scenery at your own convenience.  It contributes a significant amount to local and national tourism and now is a good time for the UK to try and open this up to markets further afield."   Mark Wilsmore of Ace Cafe London said "As a destination venue, motorcycle tourism is increasingly important.  At the cafe we ensure that we give riders a reason to get out and enjoy riding their bikes and visit us".

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