Gentle Cycling Tours for UK Staycationers
As established in our Mid-Year Review 2020: Travel & Hospitality, ‘soft’ or domestic tourism has fast become travel’s most potent tool in providing a much-needed boost to the industry. With tourists embracing local adventures with unprecedented fervour, UK travel company Cycling for Softies is hoping to cash in on this opportunity.
Its first collection of gentle, domestic luxury e-bike tours take place across the British countryside, and are designed to be accessible to all cyclists – from the inexperienced to the seasoned enthusiast.
Tours include a four-day trip through Sussex. It follows a 120-mile route along cycling, coastal and riverside paths, stopping at restaurants, vineyards and historical sites, including Arundel and Bramber Castles. Accommodation is arranged at luxury spa hotels, which are dotted along the scenic route. Other options include leisurely trips around the picturesque Cotswolds region.
While the excursions are self-guided, vacationers have access to support en route over the phone, and their luggage is transferred between stops to make for a smooth and easy experience. Premium itineraries cost between £525 ($656) and £1,395 ($1,742) per person, which includes e-bike hire, accommodation and food and drink.
Interest in cycling has seen a dramatic uptick during the pandemic as consumers seek to find alternatives to public transport. In the UK, bike sales increased by 60% in April 2020 compared to April 2019, while e-bike sales grew by 50% (Bicycle Association, 2020). This explosion in interest represents a potent opportunity for domestic – and eventually international – tour operators to design eco-friendly cycling tours that immerse travellers in local culture and history.
The trips also tie into demand for nature-soaked domestic travel that allows for ease of social distancing, as explored in Reimagining the Staycation.
For more on how active tourism is taking inspiration from sports hobbies and pursuits, read Travel for the Active Consumer. See also Soft Tourism: Travel's Immediate Lifeline for more on the wider domestic tourism opportunity through a global lens.