Aberdeen is set to host a major mountain bike conference this autumn as the region targets growth in the high-value adventure tourism market.
Developing Mountain Biking in Scotland (DMBinS), in partnership with the North East Adventure Tourism project (NEAT), is staging the Scottish Mountain Bike Conference in Aberdeen for the first time, from 3 to 5 November 2022.
The 2022 conference, at north east Scotland’s state of the art events venue P&J Live, will showcase the significant array of trails available in Aberdeenshire and across Scotland to an international industry audience.
Titled ‘Leading The Way’, the three-day event will feature global mountain bike leaders, exciting new product and industry announcements, international media trips, discussion and consultation on the future of Scottish mountain biking. The programme will chart the progress made in the Scottish MTB Strategy 2019 – 2025, debate how to create a sustainable future for mountain biking support and explore the activity’s contribution to social and environmental objectives and sustainable economic development.
DMBinS is the lead organiser of the event, drawing on its experience of delivering award-winning international conferences, working in partnership with NEAT. NEAT aims to transform the region into a world-class destination for adventure tourism by facilitating the development of high-quality, sustainable facilities and low carbon infrastructure. Opportunity North East (ONE) leads the NEAT project with industry in partnership with Scottish Enterprise, Scottish Cycling/DMBinS, VisitAberdeenshire and Aberdeenshire Council. Over the last three years, NEAT has secured £890,000 of investment to deliver business and industry development, marketing and promotion of the region, increased collaboration within the sector and across the supply chain, and the identification, scoping and planning of six key infrastructure projects.
The success of this partnership project has been instrumental in establishing Aberdeenshire as a key emerging destination for mountain bike tourism.
Jennifer Craw, CEO of Opportunity North East, who will be addressing the conference, said: “The conference will showcase the region’s mountain biking credentials and ambition to the world. Aberdeenshire is recognised as one of the activity’s fast-emerging destinations in Scotland with a wide variety of exceptionally beautiful routes and an extraordinary breadth of variety of riding.
“Building on these assets is at the heart of the NEAT project to grow inclusive, low-carbon adventure tourism, create up to 500 new jobs in rural areas and the city, deliver community and economic benefits and manage the region’s natural capital in a sustainable way. The private sector led approach to NEAT through ONE and strong regional and national partnerships are driving progress here. ONE, DMBinS and the other NEAT partners look forward to sharing our vision, ambition and delivery with the global mountain biking community in Aberdeen in November.”
Graeme McLean, Head of DMBinS, a partnership project based within Scottish Cycling, said: “We are excited to be working with the North East Adventure Tourism project partners Opportunity North East and Visit Aberdeenshire along with Scottish Government to deliver what is now the second biggest global mountain bike conference.
“It is expected that the conference will attract around 250 to 300 delegates from Scotland, the rest of the UK and internationally. The delegates are likely to work directly in mountain biking or in a field which encompasses mountain biking including: tourism businesses, land managers, local authorities, public sector agencies, cycling organisations and academics. It is a fantastic opportunity to celebrate the successes in Scottish mountain biking, whilst looking to the future to ensure we continue to develop the sport in a sustainable manner.”
The opening day (3 November) will focus on planning for the future for those involved in mountain biking tourism, product development and the sustainable economic growth of the sport. An exciting line up of speakers from industry leaders to academics and sector experts will be presenting and discussing macro challenges and opportunities which are being played out on a global scale. The first day will close with a social evening with a DJ set, delicious food options and local beverages, held at P&J Live.
Day two (4 November) will focus on how to sustainably grow participation in mountain biking and continue to develop a world class athlete development system. A full programme of inspirational speakers and informative workshops will be delivered during the day and the day will close with the much-anticipated Scottish MTB Awards: a chance for everyone involved to celebrate the very best of Scottish mountain biking.
The last day of the conference (5 November) will offer delegates and volunteers the opportunity to attend a variety of trail building case studies, across Aberdeenshire, to view good practice and discuss how the right trails can be built, in the right places and managed by the right people.
DMBinS will draw on support and input from the Scottish Government, Edinburgh Napier University, Mountain Bike Centre of Scotland (MTBCoS), and leading industry figures to deliver an exceptional conference.
A full programme is in development and will be announced shortly. Potential delegates now have the opportunity to choose from different conference packages and take advantage of an early bird rate, which will be available until the 3 September.
To book now and find out more information visit the DMBinS website.
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