How businesses in Kent, Cornwall and Norfolk are preparing for cycling guests

Rich Wevill's picture

How businesses in Kent, Cornwall and Norfolk are preparing for cycling guests

As accommodation providers and outdoor-service hospitality venues prepare to reopen in England next week, Cycling UK launches a new accreditation scheme making it easier for visitors to find cycle-friendly businesses
  • Cycle Friendly Places accreditation status demonstrates accommodation and hospitality businesses offer a warm welcome for tired legs 
  • Scheme running in Kent, Norfolk and Cornwall, as part of the EXPERIENCE project 
  • Cycling UK anticipates significant interest as self-contained holiday businesses prepare to re-open next week 

Cyclists looking for somewhere to stay or refuel in Kent, Norfolk and Cornwall can seek out businesses with a new excellence mark awarded by Cycling UK

Cycling UK has developed the Cycle Friendly Places accreditation scheme to enable hospitality and accommodation providers to access resources and knowledge to make their businesses attractive to those looking to combine cycling and holidays.  

The Cycle Friendly Places network will cover Cornwall, Kent and Norfolk and obtaining accreditation costs nothing. The project is co-funded by the European Regional Development Fund via the EXPERIENCE project.  

Cycling UK’s EXPERIENCE project manager, Jonathan Sparks, said:  

“With self-contained holiday businesses able to re-open from Monday 12 April and with hotels and B&B’s set to follow suit from 17 May, there is pent-up demand for people to be able to get out and explore the wonderful cycling that regions like Kent, Norfolk and Cornwall have to offer.  

“Cycling UK wants to help make sure businesses are ready  and provide the sort of service which will keep people visiting long after foreign travel is back on the cards.” 

It is estimated there are some 1.23m overnight cycle trips per year in the UK, with an average spend of £360 per trip (1), a high proportion of which is spent on accommodation and food stops along the route.  

With the impact of coronavirus and uncertainty over foreign travel, many people are expected to staycation this year or may delay booking holiday times until after receiving a coronavirus vaccine later this year. Cycle touring is a year-round activity and can be a great way to extend traditional holiday periods to boost tourism in early spring and late autumn.  

Whether it's providing hire bikes and storage for customer’s own bikes, recommending nearby routes or access to basic maintenance kit, the charity says there are plenty of factors which can help businesses stand out from the crowd when it comes to welcoming cyclists.   

Often businesses don’t have to go the extra mile, with many of those little extras which will make a difference to someone who has just spent a long day in the saddle already being provided, just not advertised.  

Through the free Cycle Friendly Places toolkit, businesses are advised on how to cater for the cycling tourist and how they can secure accreditation which in turn will help them stand out from their competitors.  

Among the benefits accredited business will receive are:  

  • A free equipment bundle*  valued at £175, including toolbox, pump, a lock and a First Aid kit. (* limited stocks available) 
  • Training in digital marketing, cycle maintenance and route knowledge  
  • Promotion through Cycling UK’s Cyclists Welcome directory of places to stay and eat  

Miranda Palmer who offers two bed Airbnb accommodation in rural Kent is among those who have already applied for Cycle Friendly Places accreditation.  

She said: “We are situated in rural Kent surrounded by fantastic countryside and amazing cycle routes. As keen cyclists ourselves we are passionate about offering our guests a comfortable rural retreat while at the same providing facilities to safely store guests’ bikes and offer the necessary toolkits and pumps. We can also provide advice on cycle routes, ranging from short to longer distances, the best cycle cafe stops, bike shops and an array of local attractions to visit.” 

To find out more about Cycle Friendly Places and to apply for free accreditation visit www.cyclinguk.org/cyclefriendlyplaces   

 

Contact information 

For more information, please contact the national Cycling UK press office. Due to the restrictions caused by the coronavirus outbreak, currently the main press office number (01483 238315) is not being monitored. If you would like to speak to a member of the press office during working hours (9am-5pm) please call Richard Wevill on 07785 381648 or email publicity@cyclinguk.org. Out of hours, call 07786 320713.  

Notes to editors 

Figures taken from a European Parliament 2012 study [THE EUROPEAN CYCLE ROUTE NETWORK EUROVELO (ecf.com)]

.Cycling UK, the UK’s cycling charity, imagines a world where the streets are free of congestion and the air is clean to breathe, where parents encourage their children to cycle to school and everyone share the exhilaration of being in the saddle. For more than 140 years, we’ve been making out streets safer, opening up new traffic free routes, and inspiring more people to cycle more often  www.cyclinguk.org 

EXPERIENCE is an €23.3-million project co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund through Interreg to boost off-season experiential tourism visitors in six pilot regions across England and France.

EXPERIENCE

EXPERIENCE is a €23.3 million project co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF, €16 million) through the Interreg VA France (Channel) England Programme 2014-2020, boosting visitor numbers in six pilot regions across England and France. This project will harness the experiential tourism trend to extend the season (October – March), generating new office-season visitors for the pilot regions.


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Cycling UK continues to support the UK to cycle
This remains true during this difficult period with the ongoing threat of coronavirus Covid-19