Conference showcases San Diego as bicycle tourism destination

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SAN DIEGO — The four-day National Bicycle Tourism Conference will get underway at the Bahia Hotel Wednesday with workshops and lectures on staging safe and successful bicycling events.

This year’s conference — hosted by the Bicycle Tour Network, the League of American Bicyclists and People for Bikes — will showcase San Diego as a bike-friendly city and focus on ways to connect tourism and cycling, according to event organizers.

Marketing to women and casual urban cyclists will also be key points. Throughout the conference, advocates, industry officials and travel and tourism experts will present the latest data, tools and techniques.

People for Bikes’ Executive Director Tim Blumenthal is scheduled to give the opening speech, entitled “Bicycling 20/20: Increasing Rider Engagement; Growing Our Business.”

Organizers said other scheduled speakers include Velo Quebec President Susan Lareau, who will speak about bicycle tourism, and closing remarks by League of American Bicyclists President Andy Clarke.

Also on the conference’s agenda are an interactive panel on attracting women to bicycle tourism; talks on trends in bike travel and the role of bike share programs in urban bicycle tourism; a presentation by New Belgium Brewing’s Marketing Director on beer’s contribution to the bicycle tourism industry; and an event jersey contest.

Prior to the conference’s kickoff, the San Diego County Bicycle Coalition will lead a 5-mile tour of the Bayshore Bikeway in Coronado.

The ride was designed to highlight the local progress toward creating a safer and more appealing place for bicycling tourists and residents, organizers said. Coronado was among the 60 communities designated as bicycle-friendly by the League of American Bicyclists.

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