August 09, 2011 (Toronto, ON) – On Monday morning [August 8th], Toronto-Danforth MPP Peter Tabuns met with the forces behind the development of the Ontario Cycle Tourism Partnership that will promote cycling as a viable way to travel and vacation in the province. Using a $351,800 grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF), Alternative Transportation Options Association of Ontario (aka Transportation Options), the leading cycle tourism organization responsible for the award-winning Bike Train Initiative and Welcome Cyclists Network, will build on their successful programs and collaborative partnerships to develop a province-wide partnership to catalyze destination development and marketing campaigns to support this fast growing tourism sector.
“Cycle tourism has been wildly successful in other places,” said MPP Tabuns. “I am glad we are doing it here – promoting clean, green, healthy jobs.”
The cycle tourism sector in Ontario is growing, and is well positioned for continued growth in the coming years. The Government of Ontario and regional tourism organizations have recognized the potential in cycle tourism, prioritizing it as a key market segment. Many communities across the province are experiencing an increase in cycle tourists due to investments in cycling infrastructure and tourism programs, expanding Bike Train and Bike Bus transportation options, and business participation in the Welcome Cyclists Network.
Funding from OTF will enable Transportation Options and its collaborative local, regional and provincial partners to establish a lead industry program to develop and promote cycle tourism in Ontario, create an Ontario Cycle tourism Strategy, work with Ontario regions on cycle tourism destination and product development, develop and bring to market cycle tourism packages, feature itineraries and special events, and host an Ontario Cycle Tourism Forum in 2012.
“The Ontario Cycle Tourism Partnership builds on the momentum of recent and successful cycle tourism programs developed and launched by Transportation Options and its partners” said Justin Lafontaine, Project Director. “There is an immediate opportunity to grow this sector that is already showing the potential to make a significant economic contribution to the province’s tourism receipts.”
The Ontario Cycle Tourism Partnership will encourage healthier and more physically active Ontarians, enhance economic development opportunities for communities and businesses, and engage partners and volunteers to work together to put Ontario on the map as a leading cycle tourism destination in North America.
Transportation Options is a non-profit organization based in Toronto that is dedicated to fostering sustainable transportation and tourism initiatives across Ontario. For more information on Transportation Options’ current cycle tourism programs visit Bike Train HERE and Welcome Cyclists HERE.
A leading grantmaker in Canada, the Ontario Trillium Foundation strengthens the capacity of the voluntary sector through investments in community-based initiatives. An agency of the Government of Ontario, OTF builds healthy and vibrant communities.