We heard from tourism departments of New Zealand, Japan, Tasmania, Flight centre's active travel direct, councils from Australian country towns all discussing the economic benefits of Cycle Tourism to their communities and the economy.
As you can imagine Cycle Tourism comes in an assortment of flavours. I've broken them down to 4 major areas:
The needs of the Cycling tourism industry
Going to a conference where you don't know anyone is like starting at a new high school half way through the year. People already have their clicks, they all seem to know each other, they know how things work and they know the local lingo.
I found out about the Asia Pacific Cycling Congress on the Thursday before the conference started. By Saturday I had made the decision that I would apply for leave at my I.T job, and fly up for a week of learning and networking with people in the Cycling community. There was a lot of hesitation because I wasn’t confident, I didn't know anyone at the conference and the whole trip would cost me a pretty penny. But as someone on the last day of the conference made me appreciate, there's no other investment that would return you the same amount of targeted marketing for that price.
My strategy consisted of:
Through twitter I was able to engage with people at the congress and exchange ideas and conversations while attending a presentation. From there I was able to introduce myself in person and continue the conversations outside.
My elevator pitch is still not solid. I can’t figure out if I should introduce myself as Jules from Sydney making a career change. Or Jules the organiser of Sydney Night Rides a social bike riding group. I'll keep working on this one. But be prepared to brand yourself. Launch yourself as the person you want to be identified as.
How to use twitter 1:01
Before the conference
During the conference
Notes for next time
The best place to get a Vietnamese Pho in Sydney is in Cabramatta. The same Cabramatta that was deemed a no-go zone in the 1990's because of the heroin issues and the Vietnamese ganstas. But that image is not reality these days. What Cabramatta should be known for is its amazing Vietnamese food and cycleways.
Also its home of the most amazing vegan food. Since a lot of Vietnamese people are buddahists it's only natural that the biggest Vietnamese community has atleast 5 vegan friendly restaurants. So perfect, as an Asian vegetarian who loves cycling, Cabramatta is the ultimate weekend day trip. Did I mention how amazing all the cycling routes in this area is? No? Well they're some of the most extensive in Sydney.
2. Organise a group ride
So I organised a ride out to Cabramatta along the cycleways to eat amazing Vietnamese food and started blogging about the amazing adventure. Through some social media magic a twitter conversation caught the attention of the local newspaper journalist. This then subsequently led to an invitation to be photographed for a story to promote Cabramatta cycleways and Cabramatta as a food destination.
3. Organise a Vietnamese feast
The killer formula
In summary how to convert your town into a food destination:
More Info on cycleways in Cabramatta:
So what you've got some of the most amazing architecture in Australia. So what you have free trams in the city. So what you have some crazy
The Cyclist's priority section
The Bike Sharing Scheme
Protected bike lanes
Blogging about all things that create beautiful healthy communities, active transportation and tech.