Cycling boost for south west thanks to movie

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A combination of the “Danny MacAskill effect” and the major biking events in 2015 means the future is looking bright for cycling in Scotland.

And this includes the south west’s 7stanes route, according to the national tourism organisation.

Since MacAskill’s film The Ridge, which was part-funded by VisitScotland, was published online, the incredible video has been viewed over 26 million times on YouTube.

Skye Adventure, the company which provided its extensive knowledge and experience of mountain guiding in the Cuillins, has seen an incredible 20 per cent rise in bookings since the video went live.

With beautiful country landscapes, seascapes, towns and cities, the National Cycle Network and top-quality mountain biking facilities, cycling in Scotland is proving very popular.

7stanes, a series of seven mountain biking areas located in the forests of Dumfries and Galloway and the Scottish Borders, welcomed more than half a million visitors in 2013, with day visitors on average spending £10-19 and overnight visitors spending £32-49.

VisitScotland research also showed that domestic visitors to Scotland, who take part in mountain biking or cycling, on average stay over two million nights and spend £109 million each year.

VisitScotland is continuing to provide significant investment through directorate EventScotland towards events that raise the profile of cycling in Scotland. These include, The Tour of Britain, the Fort William Mountain Bike World Cup and TweedLove Bike Festival.

Throughout 2014, EventScotland supported a number of mass-participation cycling events including the Tour o’ the Borders, Ride the North and Etape Loch Ness.

The estimated economic impact of Tweedlove and Tour o’ the Borders was £1.7 million.

In November, the VisitScotland Conference Bid Fund helped support the Scottish Mountain Biking Conference 2014 – International Edition. The event at Peebles Hydro generated an estimated £250,000 for the economy and was attended by more than 200 mountain biking experts.

Mandy Layden, 7stanes CIC Development Manager said: “7stanes has something to offer to all riders, from beginners to expert.

“Bikers/families looking for trails with breathtaking scenery to adrenaline junkies that are looking to be challenged on more technical trails”.

“With Glentress being quoted – as a ‘Mountain Biking Mecca’ by Lonely Planet’s Ultimate Adventures and the other stanes having something different to offer, Dumfries & Galloway and the Scottish Borders should be top of your to do list”. Malcolm Roughead, VisitScotland Chief Executive, said: “From cycling tours around the Highlands to mountain biking in Dumfries & Galloway, there is a huge opportunity for Scottish tourism.”