Cumberland Trail Survey results show effect on local economy

Results from the recent Cumberland Trails Survey are now available and the findings are a strong demonstration of the importance of Cumberland’s trails on the local and regional economy.

More than 630 responses were submitted to the survey, which was formulated through a partnership between the United Riders of Cumberland and the Village of Cumberland, with support from the Department of Recreation and Tourism at Vancouver Island University.

The purpose of the project was to collect data on the economic impact of trail users (both locals and visitors), in addition to gathering opinions on trail management. Participants included users from the Comox Valley area (75 per cent), as well as visitors from outside the region (25 per cent).

Key results include:

• Same day visitors spend on average $81 per day, while overnight visitors spend on average $93 per day.

• Trail users have above average household incomes with 76 per cent of respondents having household incomes greater than the CVRD median household income.

• Trail tourists tend to travel in groups of an average size of over four individuals.

• Cumberland is a destination highly regarded for its abundance and variety of trails, and the overall atmosphere of the area.

• The trails are an important regional amenity and are well used by both Cumberland and residents of the wider Comox Valley Regional District.

“We now have strong evidence of the importance of our trails on the local economy,” said Cumberland Mayor Leslie Baird.  “And as we embark on new economic development initiatives we have a better understanding of our target markets and users, and opportunities for growth and improvements.”

“The United Riders of Cumberland organization has grown tremendously over the last few years and now has the responsibility for managing the Cumberland Trail Network as a result of the recently signed Land Access Agreement,” said Evan Loveless, UROC vice-president. “The data gathered from this survey will help us better serve our members and to continue and improve the trails for all.”

A full report with a comprehensive overview of the findings is available at UnitedRidersofCumberland.com.

Special thanks to all the local businesses that supported the prize package used as an incentive for people to participate.

 

Comox Valley Record

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