Ontario Cycle Tourism 2013

Program Details

Conference    Speakers    Presentations

Ontario Showcase

Moderated by Nicole Leaper, Director of Brand and North America Marketing – Ontario Tourism Marketing Partnership

Public Bike Sharing (BIXI Toronto) and Tourism – 
BIXI Public Bicycle Systems – Sean Wheldrake, Project Lead – City of Toronto

Public bike sharing is especially popular with tourists, providing a great alternative to walking, bus tours, or transit for sightseeing, in addition to the ease of use, low commitment and flexibility of the system. Visitors on bikes can see more of a city, access natural assets, and enjoy cycling infrastructure such as waterfront trails.

The presentation will review public bike sharing programs in North America, including the user profile, costs and revenue, what it takes to start a public bike share program like BIXI Toronto, and the lessons learned.

Partnerships, Cooperation and Coopetition –  Hardwood Ski & Bike – John Sustersic, Marketing and Events Manager

The presentation will explore going beyond the traditional thinking and finding new ways to reach potential customers.  This means looking at and possibly rethinking your customer experience.
Building effective partnerships and cooperation helps reach new customers in a cost effective way and standing out.  It means looking at your network, expanding your view of that network and adding value.

“Coopetition” is another way to you can create higher value for customers working with others. All these work and help you by creating more “word of mouth” advertising from your customers, business partners and competitors.

Cycling Maps: Creating a map for your region – The Bike Shop in Gravenhurst – Kristi MacDonald

Kristi MacDonald will highlight the 6 W’s to creating a cycling map, with copies of the Muskoka cycling map and others for reference.

Cycling Maps help create not only awareness for tourism in your area but engage local businesses in bicycle tourism. Cycling maps are a cost effective marketing tool for all of the businesses in the area. At the end of this presentation you will have a full understanding of how to create a cycling map for your region.

Observations From Behind the Counter and Notes on “Living the Dream” – Domestique Café Cyclo Sportif – Krys Hines

Café Domestique is a cycling-themed coffee shop in Dundas, Ontario. It’s a great spot for a delicious coffee, mid-ride break, get inspired by the authentic ProTour jerseys and covet the rotating bikes that line the walls.

The presentation will include a brief history of the café, observations and recommendations.

Launching a Bicycle Festival to Increase Cycling in Your Community – Capital Vélo Fest – Dick Louch, President

The presentation describes how a well-attended Ottawa bicycle festival was planned, developed and implemented in a six month time frame, using a low cost and effective methodology. The festival planning process will be outlined from concept to execution.

Ingredients for success, recommendations on festival content, venue considerations, and other key logistics will be provided. Tips on planning will provide a template for others who wish to launch a successful cycling event in their community.

Cycling in Ottawa will be highlighted with a viewing of Ottawa Tourism’s new cycling video promoting cycling in the capital city.

Niagara as a Cycling Destination

Venture Niagara Community Futures Development Corporation – Sue Morin, Community Economic Development Manager

The presentation will take a look at the different developmental stages of positioning Niagara as a cycling destination.

This will include a look at our S.W.O.T. and a review of the players and partnerships that have contributed along the way and the present day successes such as attracting large cycling events such as GranFondo Niagara Falls 2013.

Georgian Bay Cycling Route – Manitoulin Island Cycling Advocates (MICA)- Maja Mielonen, Chair & Guy Nielen, Co-Chair

Information will be presented on a number of projects spearheaded by MICA with assistance from Manitoulin Business Assistance Corporation and other local area regional partners. Recent projects include a successful paved shoulder advocacy project, launching the Welcome Cyclists Network in the area, and creating a cycling map that sold over 2,500 copies in its first summer, 2012.

MICA will also present their latest project, the Georgian Bay Cycling Route. Building on MICA’s 2010 paved shoulder pilot, the proposed route is over 800km along the coast, connecting to established cycling trails, and finishing along paved shoulders to Tobermary. The route would reopen economic development options along old Highway 69, which has lost traffic following road widening.

Cycling through Serenity – St. Lawrence Parks Commission – Jennifer Tarini, Assistant Manager Park Operations and Land Planning 

Cycling through South Eastern Ontario can be a real trip!  The presentation will be showcasing St. Lawrence Parks Commission experiences and cycling opportunities.

Adjacent to the 75km long St. Lawrence Recreation Trail, the area features cycling access and waterfront views. St. Lawrence Parks Commission bicycle friendly locations and campgrounds include: Brown’s Bay Beach, Crysler Beach, Farran Park, Fort Henry, Glengarry, Ivy Lea, Long Sault Parkway, Milles Roches Beach, Riverside Cedar, Upper Canada Migratory Bird Sanctuary and Woodlands Beach.

Wine Trail Rides: Starting a Cycle Tourism Industry from Scratch
Windsor Eats – Adriano Ciotoli, Co-owner

WindsorEats.com showcases the bounty of restaurants in Windsor and Essex County in one convenient website. Building on that project, Wine Trail Rides created a cycle tourism sector in their region.

Learn about the obstacles overcome to achieve success and turn their cycling tours into a provincial and national award winning experience.

Wine Trail Rides tours are offered spring through fall including tours to various wineries and new in 2012, Bike and Beer Tours. WindsorEats Wine Trail Rides received the Ontario Tourism Culinary Experience Award in 2009.

Poster Presentations:

Lunch & Keynote Speaker

Your story, their stories. – Laurie Dillon-Schalk – Planning Director, Digital, DraftFCB

Compelling story-telling is essential to social success. More effective than your own broadcasts are the stories others tell about you.  Stories are memorable, compelling and, of course, sharable.

Laurie will share thoughts on how influencer relationships, engagement strategies and emerging knowledge on behavioural economics are helping organizations and brands gain social traction.

Breakout 1: Destination Development: Growing cycle tourism

A. Building on What You Have 

Engaging the local business community, coordinating regional cycling committees, creating a regional tourism strategy and leveraging partnerships.

Building Bicycle Tourism in Grey County 
– Bryan Plumstead – Manager of Economic Development and Tourism, Grey County Tourism and Grey County Cycling Committee

Grey County Tourism has been actively developing cycle tourism over the past three years. Solid growth in cycling tourism in Grey County has been the result of:

  • An advisory committee that brings together the many groups involved in cycling (Share the Road advocates, local cycling clubs, Transportation Services department and local businesses)
  • Setting the goal to become a cycling destination in Ontario over five years
  • Defining objectives for each year that leverage the work of the partners

This session will expand on the coordination role taken by Grey County Tourism and the work of each partner, the “supercharge” effect of Centurion Canada at Blue Mountain event, and will look ahead at next steps.

Building Blocks of a Regional Cycle Tourism Strategy –
Susan Mathieu, Partner – Economic Planning Group of Canada

The presentation will explore the key elements in preparing a regional cycle tourism strategy, starting with understanding the cycle tourism markets and their expectations. Matching your cycling experiences with the markets available will help define product and infrastructure needs in your region.

Developing partnerships and building community support will be addressed as fundamental blocks in building the strategy. The importance of preparing an implementation action plan and the components of such a plan will be addressed along with some tips for making your plan happen.

Investing in Ajax to Create a Cycling Destination
 Mayor Steve Parish – Town of Ajax 

To develop its municipal and regional reputation as a cycling destination, the Town of Ajax focuses on building collaborative relationships. Major Parish’s presentation will include:

  • Advocacy and promotion of the Regional Cycling Plan
  • Investing in and developing cycling infrastructure and network as a key priority
  • Efforts to develop and promote Ajax as a cycling tourism destination for economic growth
  • Marketing and promoting Ajax’s Bicycle Friendly Community designation and Welcome Cyclists Network participation

B. Making the Investment

Cycling infrastructure, developing and maintaining paths, trails and signed routes, and bike safety.

Farther, Greener, Greater: Creating the Waterfront Trail – 
Marlaine Koehler, Executive Director – Waterfront Regeneration Trust

Why invest in a 1400 km trail when people won’t ride 3 km to the local store for grocery? If you build it, will they come?

This presentation describes how the Waterfront Regeneration Trust, a small charity, collaborates with 68 communities and others to create, expand and promote the 1400 km Waterfront Trail and the contribution the Trail makes towards fulfilling economic, environmental and community goals.

Building a Bicycle Friendly Ontario
 – Eleanor McMahon, Founder and CEO – Share the Road Cycling Coalition

As Ontario’s Cycling Policy and Advocacy organization, the Share the Road Cycling Coalition works to unite cycling stakeholders across Ontario and works with and on behalf of municipalities to enhance their ability to make their communities more bicycle-friendly. Central to the organization’s mission is advocating for an enhanced provincial role.

Since its inception, the Coalition has focused on outreach work across Ontario and has built partnerships with a broad coalition of active transportation stakeholders.

Cycling is on the move in our province. Ms. McMahon will provide an update on the latest on cycling in Ontario including two important public policy initiatives in 2012: the Ontario Coroner’s Review of Cycling Deaths – for which Ms. McMahon was a panellist – and the Ontario Bicycle Strategy, the first cycling policy update in Ontario in 20 years.

Safe Trails for Tourism Excellence – Patrick Connor – Executive Director, Ontario Trails Council (OTC)

Trails and trail tourism are proven economic drivers. Ontario has the opportunity to establish safe trails to accommodate both local and international travellers. How is the province doing and what does it need to do to capitalize on the wealth of trails?

This session will examine the strengths, weakness, opportunities and existing OTC training that teaches municipal employees how to create excellent trail tourism product – from the ground up!

Breakout 2: Marketing Cycle Tourism: Tools to reach the target market

A. Connecting with Cycling Tours & Events 

What tour operators and directors are looking for, key elements to attracting tours and events, elements and benefits of hosting successful cycling events, and connecting with cycling clubs.

What Every Touring Cyclist Wants – Melissa Claxton-Oldfield – Oshawa Cycling ClubScenic Cycle Tours

Cycle touring is a growing area in travel. The benefits to cyclists are many including exploring the outdoors and places of interest, fresh air while getting exercise, low cost with little impact on the environment, meeting other cyclists and the list goes on.

There are also financial benefits to communities as cycle tourists look for many things in their destinations, such as visiting places of interest, museums, places of historical interest, eating establishments, accommodations, including hotels, B&Bs or camping. Some like to do a little shopping along the way in unique shops and especially at bike shops!! Touring cyclist numbers range from individuals and pairs to small cycle touring group or large cycling clubs.

Increasing Tourism – Outdoor Advocacy through Mountain Bike Events and Trail Networks
– Sean Ruppel, Owner and Co-owner – Super Fly Racing and Chico Racing

Through 20 years in the industry, it is clear that incorporating mountain biking, road cycling and building infrastructure can increase tourism and have a positive effect on business. This presentation will share examples of significant changes due to trail building, event hosting and other innovative initiatives.

“If you build it, they will come” – does not pertain only to baseball fields. Trail creation, mapping and infrastructure investment is also a key to attracting vibrant, affluent and healthy people to their areas.

Yolande Garat – Director, Vélo Québec Voyages

B. Maps, Apps & Promotions

Evaluating the latest print and digital mapping options, using existing and new technologies to build apps and interactive resources, and creative packaging and itinerary themes.

Diving into the Mobile Market
– Peter Lipscombe – Web Project Coordinator, Waterfront Regeneration Trust

The internet is going mobile. Over half of local web searches are now performed from a mobile device. How are you tapping into the mobile market and capturing this growing market segment?

This short introduction to mobile browsing will cover mobile-optimized websites, Android and Apple apps, and the advantages and disadvantages of each. Options for trail mapping on mobile devices and cost effective ways to develop mobile-ready content will also be discussed.

Digital offline, interactive maps for today’s cyclist
 – Trystan Lyttle – Avenza Systems Inc

With the advent of smart phones, tablets and devices such as the iPod Touch, paper maps are becoming less used and less desirable. Cyclists are looking to access maps on these devices rather than on paper maps.

Avenza’s PDF Maps app and digital distribution system enable cyclists to access cycling-related maps (and other mapping content) onto their devices and use them both offline and online to display current location, measure distances, estimate traveling times and record additional information, all offline. The PDF Maps online store is an iTunes-like in-app marketplace for finding, purchasing and downloading maps of all types.

Building Destination Trails
– Chris Hughes – Partner, BC Hughes Tourism Consulting

Everyone has trails.  Everyone has good trails, but how do you make your trail stand out and become a destination? Trails are significant economic drivers and people travel for unique trail experiences so how do you get on that bucket list?

Chris will walk you through the steps to creating trails that people want to ride and will travel great distances to do it.  He will also highlight several examples of communities who get it, and invest in trails and trail experiences as a pillar of their economic development and tourism strategies.

Final Keynote 

Cycling trends, market growth, and how to promote cycle tourism – Martin McDonald – Toronto Branch Manager, Norco Bicycles and Live to Play Sports Group Inc.

What’s happening in the cycling world from the retailer/distributor perspective, including:

  • History of Norco Bicycles
  • Trends  and growth in the marketplace
  • Growth with new bicycle dealers
  • The economic impact of bicycle retailers in Ontario

Closing Remarks

Return to Ontario Cycle Tourism Forum main page HERE.