Northwest mountain biking to be promoted

A strategy for how to encourage more tourists to travel to Terrace for mountain biking is in development

A strategy on how to best bring more tourists to the Terrace area for mountain biking is in development, with representatives from the Western Canada Mountain Bike Tourism Association (MBTA) planning to visit the area later this spring to meet with community members and local stakeholders.

Twelve communities, from McBride east along Hwy16 to Terrace, will be involved in the plan’s development, which aims to use market research and best practices from around the globe to encourage more people to check out northern B.C.’s mountain bike scene.

“We have a number of communities along that stretch that seem to have invested in trails or have plans for trails,” said Martin Littlejohn, executive director at MBTA.

“(Those communities) see this as something that has not only been a strong recreational activity locally but now see that this is such a great amenity that they also wish to be able to offer that to visitors coming to each community,” said Littlejohn. “There’s a lot of grassroots passion and enthusiasm to see mountain biking as being an important part of local recreation.

“They’ve also created some great trails that people would love to come and experience themselves and learn a little bit more about the communities at the same time as well.”

Collaboration between communities and invested stakeholders will be key and MBTA is planning two trips in the coming months, the first in June, to consult with people along the way.

“We’re trying to get the word out so we get a good cross-section of the community there to be involved and get feedback from,” he said.

They’ll also use these meetings to share some of the research findings and talk about how they would apply to specific areas.

With northern B.C. in the headlines, its also a good opportunity for people from around the province to learn more about what this area has to offer, he said.

“There’s a lot of attention the north is getting, and hopefully we can encourage people to visit northern B.C. to learn more about it,” he said. “There’s probably a very small of the population in the province that have actually been north of Kamloops even, so if we can use this as a means for more people to experience it for themselves I think that’s a good thing.”