Can your bike rentals give what European cycling tourists want? Worldwide data.

Two recent studies on European Cycling tourism present what the cycling tourists find important and what motivates them. The domestic European cycling market alone has an economic impact of €44 billion. Use this information to attract more bike rental customers to YOUR rental shop and find out bike rental trends.

THE DOMESTIC EUROPEAN MARKET

Bike hire and what European cycling tourists want? A study commissioned by the European Parliament in 2012 estimated that there are over 2.2 billion cycle tourism trips and 20 million over-night cycle trips made every year in Europe. These have an estimated economic impact of €44 billion.

What motivates the European cyclists?

What motivates the European cyclist to take cycling holidays? The study found that the top 13 motivating factors were:

  1. Sports activity
  2. Near to nature
  3. Flexibility
  4. Health
  5. Away from daily life
  6. Informative
  7. Learning about land and people
  8. Rest and leisure
  9. Cultural heritage
  10. Experience with cycling holidays
  11. Environmentally healthy
  12. Exercise
  13. Adventure

We wrote about the number 7+10 on the list above in our recent blog “6 things bike rental customers are looking for and how to provide them”. One of the biggest booms recently in travel industry has been the rise of “Experiential travel” and it is growing fast. It is a form of tourism in which people focus on experiencing a place by connecting to its history, people and culture. Read more in the blog how bike rentals play an important role helping tourists.

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What is important to them?

The top 11 important factors (based on studies in Germany and UK) for choosing their cycling area:

  1. Low traffic density
  2. Signposts for cyclists
  3. Route variety
  4. Road surface quality
  5. Cyclist friendly accommodation
  6. Food & beverage opportunities
  7. Information material
  8. Public transport access
  9. Route density
  10. Places and huts for resting
  11. Enroute cycle-maintenance shops

How to attract European cycling tourists to your bike rentals?

So, how can you use this information to get more rentals from cycling tourists? Use the motivators in your marketing. Choose few of the top ones that apply to your bike rentals to use in your marketing, like your website and emails.
To send professional looking personalized email marketing, use the integrated Mailchimp in BRM and create marketing campaigns in minutes. Check out the Guide to getting started with Mailchimp.
Some examples how you could market your bike rentals:

  • List cycling friendly accommodation on your website, after you have partnered with some of them so they will promote your bikes on their website and venue. They can even add your online booking to their own website, check here for instructions for agent bookings.
  • Add links to local routes, maps and guides on your website and remember to mention if they have low traffic and are signposted.
  • You could add list of places to eat and drink en route.
  • Tell them how easy it is to get to your shop by using local transport, like distance to train station or use BRM delivery scheduling to deliver your bikes straight to your customers

If your website content appeals to the potential bike renter, you have a higher chance of getting the booking rather than your competitor so try to add some information based on the motivators listed above on your website and remember:  “a picture is worth a thousand words” and use plenty on great images of happy people on your bikes or the beauty of your local area.

Check out our blog on “9 Bike Rental Must-Haves” for more tips on creating a website that attracts customers and gets you bookings.

FOREIGN EUROPEAN TRAVEL

What about European cycling tourist travelling outside Europe?

This study was done by CBI/Ministry of Foreign Affairs , called “Cycling tourism from Europe”. “Europe is one of the most important source regions for cycling tourism. The market is driven by increased demand for active holidays, an increasing interest in ‘green’ tourism activities and growth in countryside recreation and holidays” according to their findings.

Cycling tourism refers to leisure trips where cycling is the main purpose. It can be centre-based with daily cycling trips or as a cycling tour when they stay at different locations.

Profile of European cycling tourist

Some general characteristics have been defined for european cycling tourists:

  • Mostly male
  • Generally more affluent and between 40-60 years of age
  • Enjoy cycling as a form of sport or physical exercise
  • Likes to be close to nature
  • Often travel in couples or small groups
  • Often arrange their own accommodation

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What is important to cyclists outside Europe?

The list of important factors for European cycling tourists:

  1. Safety
  2. Cycling infrastructure
  3. High quality bikes and accessories
  4. Cycling friendly accommodation
  5. Luggage transport
  6. Knowledgeable Guides

If your bike rental business is able to provide any of the above make sure you mention them in your marketing material: website, social media and email campaigns, to attract more European cycle tourists to your shop. As high quality bike and accessories are high on the list and if you wish to attract more European customers highlight the quality of your bikes and how well maintained they are. Good images of your rental offering will be important for increasing trust and making bookings more likely. BRM integrated Maintenance will make the job of your mechanic efficient and will save you money in the long run as you can reduce downtime of your bikes and ensure availability at all times.

TRENDS FOR EUROPEAN CYCLISTS

E-bikes.

The popularity of e-bikes is increasing fast in Europe. For example 10-15% of Dutch booking international cycling holiday, booked an e-bike in 2013. And trend has been growing. An e-bike is great on holidays with groups of mixed fitness level or in terrain with uphills and climbs. And for the more senior cyclist.

Family and multi-generational trips.

“This trend is expected to continue due to the ageing European population and the stronger physical shape of the seniors, that like to create unforgettable memories with their children and grandchildren”, according to CBI study.

Cycling experiences as an add-on.

Cycling experiences are increasingly added as part of holiday. For example cruises, when the passengers explore the new location on rental bikes. Or city trips for excursions.

To tap into these growing trends, consider adding e-bikes to your offering. And contact any travel providers in your area to create a partnership that should be a win-win for both of you.

HOW TO HELP EUROPEAN CYCLIST FIND YOUR BIKE RENTAL SHOP?

How will the customers find your bike rental? Today’s travel experience looks completely different than just years ago. Mobile computing, mapping apps, recommendation engines, social media, digital payments are now transforming the traveler journey from start to finish.

Travellers will do research online about the destinations and products. So a good starting point is a website with quality photos and/or videos or at least a Facebook page. Read our blog on “9 Bike Rental Home Page Must-Haves”.

Most travellers would prefer to book their bikes online as the ability to have access to pricing information and live availability means travellers can spend less time on research and make their booking faster.

Most travellers would prefer to book their bikes online as the ability to have access to pricing information and live availability means travellers can spend less time on research and make their booking faster.

Bike Rental Manager offers user friendly, fully customizable online booking experience to your customers with LIVE availability and pricing to make their bike rental bookings super easy. And you can take payment at the time of the booking if you so wish.

Which european countries are biggest online booking users? Based on over 200 worldwide BRM shops, these are top 10 european countries booking rental bikes online:

  1. UK
  2. Italy
  3. Germany
  4. France
  5. Ireland
  6. Spain
  7. The Netherlands
  8. Denmark
  9. Belgium
  10. Switzerland

BRM online booking is available in 9 languages to make the online bike booking experience easy for your European customers.

Bike Rental Manager Online Booking

WHAT DOES THE PROFILE OF YOUR ONLINE CUSTOMER LOOK LIKE?

You can easily check with BRM online booking analyticswhere your online customers come from, what age and gender they are, are they new or returning customers etc. and tailor your marketing accordingly.

Another ways to increase your rentals to european cycling tourists is to partner with tour operators or use cycling associations to promote your rentals to their members. List of european cycling associations can be found on the website of the ECF, European Cyclists’ Federation.

Marketing is all about satisfying the customer need and armed with these facts you will be able to focus marketing your bike rentals to european customers and increase your revenue.

These facts should be useful in marketing you bike rentals to increase your revenue. You can  use BRM reporting to find out which of your bikes are most popular with your customers and buy your stock accordingly to increase your profits and use BRM reports to make sure you price your rentals right.


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