CARMARTHENSHIRE’S thriving tourism economy is reaping the benefits of the county’s growing reputation as the Cycling Hub of Wales.
Carmarthenshire County Council is driving its cycling strategy to attract more tourists in to the area to enjoy the fantastic landscape and scenery and encourage more local people to get on their bikes more often.
Part of that effort is ensuring tourism and hospitality providers are prepared to welcome a new influx of cycling visitors.
The council’s Marketing and Media team has worked with the Carmarthenshire tourism industry to launch a Cycling Tourism Toolkit – a complete guide to help businesses benefit from a growing market.
The guide includes practical advice about extra touches to make businesses more appealing to cyclists, including the provision of secure bike storage, facilities for washing bikes and kit, puncture repair kits and first aid.
Businesses have also been encouraged to collaborate – local guesthouses are being asked to work with nearby bike repair shops for example, or with luggage and bike transfer companies, to help their guests.
Cafes and restaurants are encouraged to provide bike racks, new menu choices specifically for cyclists, free water supplies and even takeaway lunches.
A full range of maps and suggested cycling routes has also been made available in print and online, giving cyclists plenty of inspiration whatever their level of ability.
Cllr Peter Hughes Griffiths, the council’s Executive Board Member for Culture, Sport and Tourism, helped launch the toolkit in June.
He said: “Cycling plays a very important part in Carmarthenshire’s growing visitor economy, and gives us the opportunity to highlight our stunning landscape, terrain and scenery across countryside and coast.
“Our vision is for Carmarthenshire to be known as the Cycling Hub of Wales, and to that end we have invested significantly in infrastructure and facilities – such as our historic outdoor velodrome in Carmarthen, and our purpose-built National Closed Road Circuit in Pembrey – as well as in education, development and training; marketing, events and in this case, the tourism industry.
“The Cycling Tourism Toolkit is full of useful information and tips to help our providers provide a warm welcome to visitors, with all the extra touches that will ensure their stay is the best it can be and so that they help us spread the word about Carmarthenshire.”
The toolkit can be downloaded, along with a range of cycling maps, routes and information about places to stay and eat, at www.discovercarmarthenshire.com.