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Mountain Bike World Cup passes £30m milestone for Highland economy

Press Release   •   Dec 14, 2015 16:34 GMT

As Fort William gears up to once again host the adrenaline-charged UCI Mountain Bike World Cup on 4-5 June 2016, organisers Rare Management reveal the event has brought a £30m boost to Highland tourism since 2002.

Renowned for being one of the must-see events on the Scottish sporting calendar, over quarter of a million fans have descended on Fort William since the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup came to the Highlands 14 years ago.

The figures have been released as the ‘Early Bird’ tickets go on sale for next year’s event. Available from 1-31 December, the Early Bird tickets are the perfect Christmas gift for all bike fans. Ticket prices remain at 2015 prices, making Early Bird tickets even more attractive.

Fort William delivers one of the best and most gruelling courses on the World Cup circuit. 2016 promises to be more exciting than ever with plans underway to add new features to the notorious 2.8km downhill course, giving riders a fresh competitive challenge.

Mike Jardine, from Rare Management, said:

“Fort William has legendary status amongst the global mountain bike community, thanks to the incredibly enthusiastic crowds. They make the event and give it such a fantastic, nerve-tingling atmosphere.

“The Fort William Mountain Bike World Cup and BUFF 4X Pro Tour weekend has grown into a must-see fixture on the Scottish sporting calendar for families and die-hard fans alike and the impact on the local economy is huge. It’s also broadcast to millions of people around the world, helping to raise the profile of Scotland and the Highlands as the ultimate bike-friendly destination.

“2016 is going to be a real celebration of the legends of the sport – especially some of the home heroes who are always the crowd’s favourites. It’s time to salute these greats, so we’d advise fans to get their tickets early to make sure they are part of what could be an incredible weekend.”

Over the 2015 weekend, more than 19,000 fans witnessed a thrilling climax, with Great Britain’s Rachel Atherton claim her second Fort William title and South African, Greg Minnaar, a record-breaking fifth win.

Sponsored by BUFF® and Silverline for the third year and with support from Event Scotland and Highland Council, the Fort William stage of the 2016 UCI Mountain Bike World Cup takes place at the Nevis Range ski area, 9km from Fort William.

Councillor Thomas Maclennan, Leader of the Lochaber Area Committee for Highland Council said:

“Our figures show that the World Cup was worth £2.8 million to the area in 2015. However, having such a prestigious competition on our doorstep provides world-wide publicity which money can’t buy.

“Continuing to host this event helps to showcase the scenery, terrain and local enthusiasm that cements Fort William’s reputation as a haven for outdoor activities.”

Mike Cantlay, Chairman of VisitScotland, said:

“This is a fantastic figure and a gives a tremendous boost to the Highland economy. It really is testament to the great organisation of this incredibly popular annual event and the multitude of spectators it attracts from all corners of the globe.

“The visitor economy causes a ripple effect that touches every industry, business and community in the country – from laundry to life sciences. This news perfectly illustrates how important events such as the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup in Fort William are to tourism in our regions. Tourism is more than a holiday experience – it creates jobs, sustains communities and provides a shop window for business activity.”

Fans looking to secure tickets early can book now at a discounted rate through the ‘Early Bird’ ticket offer which is available from today until December 31. Buying now guarantees access to the Nevis Range gondola, which travels above the Downhill course between the start and the finish.

Prices remain unchanged from last year’s event, with tickets costing from £14 for adults and £8 for children aged 6 – 17 years old. Family packages are also available starting from £36.

For more information on purchasing an ‘Early Bird’ ticket, visit www.fortwilliamworldcup.co.uk where you can also find details about the event.

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For further information please contact Andrew Boocock or Georgia Lea, Stripe Communications, on 0131 561 8628 or mtbworldcup@stripecommunications.com

Notes to editors:

UCI Mountain Bike World Cup presented by Shimano and BUFF® 4X Pro Tour

The Fort William Mountain Bike World Cup and BUFF® 4X Pro Tour is a key fixture in Scotland’s sporting calendar and will takes place on 4-5 June 2016.

Organised by Rare Management, the event has been voted ‘UCI Best World Cup’ by teams, officials, riders and media a record breaking 9 times in its 14 year history. Fort William is the third of seven World Cup events taking place across the globe from April to September.

The two days of competition is a huge celebration of mountain biking and the World Cup Village creates a family friendly festival atmosphere with loads of activities and entertainment to keep everyone captivated the whole weekend.

The Team and Expo area is packed full of bike manufacturers, the latest bike-wear brands and team sponsors alongside demonstrations and displays to keep everyone entertained.Fans also have a chance to meet the riders for the all-important photographs and autographs.

The event sponsors are BUFF®, Silverline, Scottish Cycling, Scottish Power, British Cycling and Alpine Bikes.

The event is supported by EventScotland, Visit Scotland and Highland Council.

Notes to Editors

    • Follow us on twitter: @visitscotnews
    • VisitScotland is Scotland’s national tourism organisation. Its core purpose is to maximise the economic benefit of tourism to Scotland.
    • The organisation’s core objective is to contribute to the Tourism 2020 Strategy ambition of growing tourism revenues by £1 billion by 2020.
    • This will be supported by seven overarching strategies:
      1. Marketing: we will market Scotland and its outstanding assets to visitors from all parts of the world, including the promotion of Scotland to people living in Scotland       to visit different parts of the country
      2. Events: we will support the national events strategy and its delivery, and sustain, develop and promote Scotland’s international profile as one of the world’s foremost events destinations
      3. Internationalisation and International Engagement: we will utilise all our platforms to enable Scottish-based tourism businesses to better understand international       opportunities and market to a global audience and we will work within One       Scotland Partnerships to optimise the potential of Scotland’s Diaspora and our strategic partners at regional, European and global levels
      4. Customer Experience: we will provide information and inspiration to visitors both locally and globally via their preferred medium of choice
      5. Quality and Sustainability: we will provide support and advice to businesses, with the goal of improving the quality and sustainability of the tourism sector in Scotland. We will provide quality assurance to visitors through our Quality Schemes
      6. Inclusive Tourism: we will strive to make tourism in Scotland inclusive and available to all
      7. Working in Partnership: we will listen to and work with the industry, partners and communities to shape our offering and support
    • VisitScotland works together with tourism businesses to make tourism a success for everyone and ensure the industry continues to grow.
    • The organisation employs 700 people and has offices and VisitScotland Information Centres across Scotland.
    • According to a recent Deloitte study, the tourism economy supports 270,000 jobs in Scotland in 20,000 diverse businesses. The same study calculates that the tourism      economy contributes £11 billion annually (direct and indirect impact, including day visits) and supports around 10 per cent of employment in Scotland. Almost 16 million tourists take overnight trips to Scotland.
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    Year of Food and Drink 2015

    • 2015 is the Year of Food and Drink, a celebration of Scotland’s natural larder and the role that food and drink plays in shaping our economic success.
    • Scotland generates over £2.5m per day through food and drink tourism.
    • A series of themed months will create an appetite for key areas of Scotland’s food and drink industries – from seafood and whisky to berries and high-quality meat
    • For more information, visit www.visitscotland.com/tastescotland