Tobias Heldt* - Dalarna University
Viktoria Liss - VTI - Swedish National Road and Transport Research Institute
Investing in developing bicycle trail networks is in many countries seen as strategy to develop the tourism industry, especially as part of regional development strategies. However, who should bear the cost of such infrastructure investments, the national, regional or local level authorities?
The starting point for this paper can be found in the conflicting interests in bicycle tourism and how these should be handled in infrastructure planning in Sweden. Who benefits from a developed bicycle trail network and how large can such benefits be? This paper aims at estimating the economic effects of bicycle tourism in two specific destinations in Sweden; Varberg and Gotland. We use data collected on site at the two destinations using a self-complete questionnaire following a mixed-stratified sampling strategy to be able to segment the visitors spending based on lodging types. In total 483 respondents are used in the analysis.
The main finding is that there is a surprisingly large difference in visitor spending between the two regions and that the segmenting of visitor spending based on lodging gives a more reliable estimate of the economic impact from bicycle tourism compared to the most commonly used measure "average guest night spending".