Partnership working and a dedication to customer experience has seen TweedLove cycling festival grow its reach and reputation, with the event now hosting one of the world’s biggest mountain biking races.
From modest beginnings as a small gathering for the Tweed Valley’s cycling enthusiasts, TweedLove Cycling Festival has grown to become one of Britain’s biggest bike festivals. TweedLove is a hit with cycling pros, locals and visitors of all ages. Such has been its success the event is now host to a round of the Enduro World Series, one of the world’s biggest mountain bike events.
In developing the festival, TweedLove’s organisers have always recognised the importance of developing the customer experience. Feedback plays a critical role, and TweedLove now works with the Scottish Borders Council in capturing visitor insights and practical information including where visitors are from, duration of visit and typical spend.
Collaboration has long been a cornerstone of TweedLove and links continue to be forged with local businesses. The festival brochure and website recommends local enterprises and ideas for visitor activities – and business owners were only too happy to feature in TweedLove’s promotional video which shows what the area has to offer.
As well as working alongside local businesses, Tweedlove has been developing its links with the cycling industry, including the family/leisure, road biking and mountain biking sectors. Bike manufacturers and trade bodies have also been recruited, bringing in valuable commercial sponsorship.
The use of new technology is critical, and as well as a charismatic and comprehensive online presence, smart employment of social media continues. TweedLove also works with mountain bike website and magazine, Singletrack, which has brought exposure to over 400k Facebook Followers.
Hosting a round of the mountain bike Enduro World Series is a first for the UK and is instrumental in building the Tweed Valley’s growing reputation as a world-class cycling destination.
Global media and 600 of the world’s best riders, including 14 world champions took part in the event, which brought in a huge number of visitors, support teams as well as fans many of whom extended their stay to take in the Fort William Mountain Bike World Cup the following week.
To celebrate Homecoming 2014, the festival organisers introduced a new event, the Tweed Ride, a leisurely 10 mile cycle along routes away from traffic to encourage families to take part, celebrating the famous fabric as well as the location, with a festival of music and food at Traquair House, Scotland’s oldest inhabited country house, to finish.
There are an estimated 11.8 million people who own a mountain bike in the UK, for tips and advice on how to make the most of the vast potential of mountain biking tourism to help grow your business check out Tourism Intelligence Scotland’s Mountain Biking Guide.