Cycling holidays becoming more popular than golf breaks, says report

A World Travel Market report has shown that cycling breaks are more popular than golfing retreats in the US, as cycle tourism continues to grow.

More and more of us are packing our Lycra into our holiday suitcases, according to a report by World Travel Market.

The rise in popularity for cycling holidays has come at the expense of golfing breaks, with certain middle-aged men leaving their clubs behind in favour of two-wheeled excursions.

>>> Best cycling holidays 

America in particular is feeling the boom, with the number of cycling enthusiasts climbing from 3.5m to 3.8m between 2012 and 2013, while golf has fallen in popularity to 19m, dropping by six million since the early 2000s.

The report claims that golf’s target market – affluent middle-aged men – are moving towards cycling as a leisure pursuit, creating a generation of MAMILs (Middle-Aged Men In Lycra).

In the UK the 2013 National Transport Survey, three million people claimed to cycle three times a week or more, with all male cyclists aged 40-49 averaging 30 rides a year.

Cycling tourism is lucrative business, with Premier Inn hotels in Yorkshire claiming a 41% rise in bike specific reservations in the aftermath of the Tour de France passing through, according to the Guardian.

While tour operator Macs Adventure reports a 124% year-on-year increase on cycling bookings, with founder Neil Lapping telling BikeBiz: "This year we’ve seen our customers becoming more adventurous, enjoying more luxurious accommodation and mixing their active days with gourmet experiences.

"For next year we are already seeing a demand for long-haul itineraries, and we are delighted that we will be able to meet that with an ever-more exciting collection."

And 17% of respondents to a 2013 YouGov poll said they had been on a cycling or mountain biking holiday in the previous four years, with adventure and activity holidays seeing a sharp rise in popularity.

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