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The Economic Impact of Cycling

posted Apr 9, 2012, 12:44 PM by Simon Springall   [ updated Apr 10, 2012, 10:43 AM ]

From Travel Oregon; distributed at the Clackamas County Bicycle Tourism Studio.

What are the economic impacts of tourism in Oregon?

Tourism is the state's largest traded sector employer (exporting the experience)

    • 88,000 employed directly / 39,600 employed in-directly
  • Oregon's total travel market (overnight and day trippers) equates to a 67.5 million people traveling in the state of Oregon (2009)
  • Equates to $8.1 billion in direct travel spending (2010)


What is the economic possibility for bicycle tourism?

Internationally bicycle tourism provides a large tourism niche; Oregon has identified cycling tourism as a key economic development strategy. Here's why:

  • Bicycle travel is becoming an increasingly visible part of the global adventure travel market which generates $89 billion annually1
  • In 2009, Oregon's outdoor recreation and entertainment market had $803 million in visitor spending2
  • In 2009, 1.3 million tourists3 bicycled while visiting Oregon
  • Those 1.3 million tourists spent $223 million primarily on lodging, meals, and retail; overnight cycling visitors spent 8 times more than day travelers ($199 million vs. $24 million)

Cycling tourism anecdotes

  • Thousands of spectators line streets to watch Portland Twilight Criterium each year
  • Bicycle National Championships pump $1.3 million into Bend economy over one week
  • In 2012, Cycle Oregon sold out, 2,200 registrations, in 32 minutes

But more research is needed!
l Oregon in collaboration with statewide partners has scoped an extensive economic study that would more clearly calculate the economic impacts of cycling in Oregon. The research will consider of the primary bicycle and cycling related economic aspects of the Oregon economy, including but not limited to: bicycle and related equipment manufacturing, including sales, employment and earnings; repair and maintenance to the extent they are related to in-state travel and to visits from out of state; travel and recreation, both by Oregon residents and out-of-state visitors, focusing on sales, employment, earnings, and tax receipts.

Contact Kristin Dahl, TravelOregon: or 503.378.2104 

[See expanded packet on Bicycle Tourism here]

1 Adventure Tourism Market Report by the Adventure Travel Trade Association, August 2010

2 Oregon 2009 Cyclist Visitor Analysis, Longwoods International, August 2010

3 A tourist is defined as someone traveling more than 50 miles from their residence or staying overnight.