A recent study shows Americans are hitting the streets by foot and on bikes in record numbers.
The Federal Highway Administration released a study recently that confirms a trend we’ve been watching here on the streets and bike paths of Denver for the last decade: More people are walking or riding their bikes than ever before.
The National Biking and Walking Study: A 15-Year Status Report found that the number of people who are traveling by foot has doubled since 1990, and the number of people who travel by bike has tripled. 1 in 10 trips Americans take are now by foot or by bike.
A concerted effort by national, state and local governments.
The study is actually a progress report on how well the Federal Highway Department has done against goals set when the study was first released in 1994. Here are the some of the findings:
- Almost all states now include pedestrian and bicycle facilities in their highway projects or as independent projects.
- More than half of state and municipal governments organize Bike to Work Days and similar events.
- Almost all states have long-range plans for improving bicycle and pedestrian infrastructures, or have incorporated them into their long-term transportation planning
Implications for travel marketing professionals
This study helps define a new target audience for CMOs marketing travel and destination brands.
But these are not the elite athletes I’ve written about in previous posts. These are people who walk or bike instead of drive because it’s better for their health, better for their budgets and better for the environment.
So if you want to market your travel or destination brand, you need to get to know them, speak to their unique needs and motivations and make sure you’re spotlighting your bike paths and pedal-powered activities in your marketing materials.
Because this audience is taking a whole different path than the travelers you’re used to selling to.