Australia’s cycling industry is worth billions, and the South Australian government is hoping to reap some benefits. 

South Australia is keen to get on board the cycling economy with Manufacturing and Innovation Minister Kyam Maher announcing that South Australia will host a bike economy summit.

The State Government has told the ABC that “cycling could become a $1 billion industry for South Australia” with Maher noting that the State  “can benefit even further by supporting industry to take advantage of opportunities that exist in tourism, manufacturing and innovation.”

This announcement follows the release of a report titled “The South Australian Bike Economy” in which the social and economic benefits of all facets of cycling in SA were reviewed – from the manufacturing and retailing sector to the multiple benefits of reduced public health costs, greenhouse emissions and SA’s capacity to provide the very best in cycle tourism experiences.

The report states the following:

 “the bike economy is big business. Globally, bike sales are forecast to be worth $65 billion by 2019, a rise of around 60 per cent when compared to 2015. For South Australia, with around 7.1 per cent of our national share, this equates to around $70 million in just bike sales every year. In its 2015 survey of cycle tourism, Roy Morgan found that five of the top nine areas for cycle tourism in Australia were in South Australia. These areas include the Adelaide Hills, the Riverland, Flinders Ranges, Clare and McLaren Vale.”

In Australia, we know the bike industry supports 10,000 jobs and has revenues of $2.7 billlion annually and the nation’s cycle tourism sector is valued at $2.4billion.

For the last nine months, Bike SA has been developing a proposition to state and local governments that would see the establishment of a cycling innovation cluster. Such a cluster would attract existing and new manufacturers of bikes, componentry and accessories as well as high quality industry bike mechanic training and a more coordinated approach to SA becoming a cycle tourism destination of significance.

Of course the major growth areas here are eBike technologies, the integration of bicycles within the ‘Smart City’ disruptive technology boom and how these can benefit a bike share scheme for Adelaide.

Across the world, cities continue to experience the transformative effects that bike share has on how citizens move around their city. Active mobility and increasingly ‘Mobility as a Service’, are playing a vital role in carbon neutral cities, reducing congestion and most interestingly, delivering major improvements in the quality of our public health.

The announcement of a Bike Economy Summit is welcome news indeed!

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