Skip to main content

MTB Tourism

Every year, the global adventure tourism industry continues to go from strength to strength.

Mountain bike tourists play a significant role in this growth, contributing millions of pounds to the Scottish economy.

MTB Tourism's Growth

In 2016, adventure tourism's global value was already estimated to be a staggering $444.85bn.

And with this figure projected to climb to $1,335bn in 2023, investing in this lucrative sector is already appealing to hospitality and leisure companies all over the world.

Mountain bike tourists play a vital part in these figures. In 2015, in Scotland alone, MTB visitors contributed £105m to the Scottish economy.

The time is right for Scottish businesses to start taking advantage of this opportunity. By enhancing the experience of national and international mountain bike visitors and giving them a world-class welcome, we'll ensure that they want to stay longer and return for more adventures.

The Value of MTB Tourism


Projected value of adventure tourism globally in 2023

Allied Market Resarch - ‘Adventure Tourism Market by Type, Activity, Type of Traveler, Age Group, and Sales Channel: Global Opportunity Analysis and Industry Forecast, 2017-2023’, January 2018


Estimated global market for bike products by 2025

Fortune Business Insights - ‘Bicycle Market Size, Share & COVID-19 Impact Analysis, By Type (Road, Mountain, Hybrid and Others), Technology (Electric and Conventional, End-User (Men, Women, and Kids), and Regional Forecast 2020-2027’, December 2020


Mountain biking’s contribution to the Scottish economy in 2015

Frontline Ltd Report – ‘Estimating the Holistic Value of Scotland’s Mountain Bike Sector’, November 2016


With strategic investment and support, mountain biking’s estimated contribution to the Scottish economy as of 2025

Frontline Ltd Report – ‘Estimating the Holistic Value of Scotland’s Mountain Bike Sector’, November 2016


Economic contribution of mountain biking tourism, at a Scottish level, to overall GVA or GDP associated with day and overnight visitor spending (To compare, golf contributes 3.2%)

Scottish Government - ‘Tourism in Scotland: the economic contribution of the sector’, 24 April 2018


Bed/Nights per annum

Great Britain Tourism Survey (GBTS) 2017-2019 average of Domestic Overnight Trips to/in Scotland Involving Cycling and Mountain Biking

The International Destination of Choice

Scotland is already a popular choice for tourists for many reasons. By building on its strengths, we believe Scotland can be positioned as the first-choice destination for both national and international mountain bike tourists.

As part of a more comprehensive strategy for developing mountain biking in Scotland, two premier mountain biking destinations - one at either end of the country - will act as a powerful draw. This will create destinations as compelling as Hawaii for surfers or the Alps for skiers and snowboarders.

To the North, Fort William & Lochaber is a favoured mountain bike destination that has hosted the UCI Downhill World Cup since 2002. To the South, the Tweed Valley’s new trail developments and combined Bike Park/Innovation Hub provides a strategic location close to Scotland’s busiest airport in Edinburgh.

By continuing to invest in world-class infrastructure and trails within these areas, these two key destinations can provide the necessary gateways for mountain bike tourists to explore other destinations all over Scotland - resulting in extended stays and return visits.

The interest and activity generated by these two ‘premier destinations’ will cascade down to four ‘priority destinations’ - Dumfries & Galloway, Perthshire, Cairngorms, and the North of Scotland - as well as two ‘emerging destinations’ - Glasgow/Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park and Aberdeenshire.

Self Assessment Tool

Our handy questionnaire allows you to quickly evaluate how you currently cater to MTB tourists, while identifying any gaps and the opportunities that may help enhance your offering.