HALIFAX - Cyclists are putting Nova Scotia on the map ‚Äď and in turn, Bicycle Nova Scotia (BNS) has mapped some of the best cycling routes for its eco-tourists.
© Metro Halifax/Jeff Harper
Ben Buckwold of Bicycle Nova Scotia.
‚ÄúWe know that there are a lot of people coming to Nova Scotia who are interested in cycling but information is hard to come by,‚ÄĚ Ben Buckwold said Monday. ‚ÄúWe wanted to fill that information gap.‚ÄĚ
On the Annapolis Valley route you can sample wineries, orchards, breweries and historical sites. While peddling the Northumberland Shore you will skirt coastlines and pull-in fishing villages.
‚ÄúWe wanted to pair up good cycling routes with good food and good drinks and interesting attractions,‚ÄĚ said Buckwold. ‚ÄúThat‚Äôs a little glimpse of what we have now, and that doesn‚Äôt speak to the potential that Nova Scotia has.‚ÄĚ
About 40,000 visitors per year ‚Äď or two per cent of all tourists ‚Äď cycle while they‚Äôre in Nova Scotia, according to the Nova Scotia Tourism Agency (NSTA).
‚ÄúOne of our key markets is outdoor enthusiasts who appreciate local culture and cuisine after a day of adventures, such as cycling,‚ÄĚ said NSTA CEO Patrick Sullivan. ‚ÄúWe‚Äôre working to provide them with a variety of coastal cycling experiences including low-traffic roads and multi-use trails.‚ÄĚ
The figures on cycling tourists come from the 2010 Visitor Exit Survey, which doesn‚Äôt specify whether tourists were planning to cycle or spontaneously decided to rent a bike to see some of the sites.
‚ÄúWe don‚Äôt know as much as we‚Äôd like to,‚ÄĚ said Buckwold.
Either way, he said BNS will expand its map series, charting other routes, and enticing more bike tourism.
NSTA is supporting the project with $30,000 under the Tourism Development Investment: Competitive Edge Program.
Visit cyclenovascotia.ca to view the maps.