States find older cyclists a boon to local economies @PittsburghPG
Rebecca Droke / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Mike Magnan of Mesa, Az. waves to other bikers as he rolls into the South Side to complete the Greenway Sojourn bike trek on Saturday, June 30, 2007. Around 500 cyclists spent eight days riding the 335 miles from Washington, DC to Pittsburgh along the nearly completed Great Allegheny Passage.
Cities and states have long urged their residents to ride bicycles, as a healthy form of recreation and as a green alternative to driving. Now they’re recognizing pedal power’s economic potential.
Tourism officials and cycling advocates sometimes refer to tourists on bicycles as “wallets on wheels.” That’s because they stay longer in a state and spend more per day than other tourists. Oregon, for example, has found that bicycle tourism contributes $400 million a year to its economy — roughly $1.1 million a day. It was the first state to create a Bike Friendly Business Program that helps businesses market to bicycle tourists.
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