Bike-friendly hotels are becoming increasingly popular for travelers, but it’s about much more than providing secure bike storage space for guests. Many hotel chains are now adding ebikes to the list of amenities provided.
According to a MarketWatch story published in September of 2020, the ebike industry is expected to see exponential growth in the coming years. Venture capitalists are currently pouring unprecedented amounts of money into ebike businesses. When one looks at the data, it’s easy to see why – ebike circulation is predicted to reach 300 million worldwide by 2023. This marks a 50% increase from 2019.
As a result, we can expect to see ebikes influence many industries. This includes the hospitality industry, especially the hotel and tourism segment. We are already seeing companies capitalize on the ebike trend. In October of 2020, Hilton announced that they were partnering with Lime to give guests in their London hotels access to ebikes. The goal was to give health-conscious consumers a safer alternative to public transportation in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In the aftermath of the pandemic, many experts are now predicting consumer behavior will change permanently. There is no going back to normal. Industries will have to account for changes in consumer behavior and think of innovative ways to adapt.
Ebikes have myriad benefits that appeal to evolving trends, which is why they’re expected to reshape the hospitality industry in the coming years.
The Broad Appeal of Ebikes
Why is the ebikes business suddenly so lucrative? Our world is changing fast, and consumer behavior is shifting in response. The sale of ebikes skyrocketed during the coronavirus pandemic as people searched for alternative forms of both recreation and exercise.
With outdoor activity now perceived as safer, it’s expected that parks will become increasingly popular in the coming years, as will outdoor recreation as a whole. Ebikes are a fun outdoor activity, and also allow people to navigate areas like beaches, state parks, and piers more efficiently. We are already seeing more and more ebike rental stations popping up in these locations, as well as ebike tours replacing bus tours.
However, even prior to COVID-19, ebikes were seeing an increase in popularity worldwide. In December of 2019, the multinational accounting organization Deloitte predicted ebikes would take off in the coming years. The industry was already growing, and investors were already paying attention.
The ebike appeals to consumers on multiple levels. They’re easy to store and do not require insurance or licenses to operate. As companies such as Lime made electric bikes accessible to more consumers, many people saw the value and eventually purchased ebikes of their own.
There is also the zero-emissions aspect of the ebike. As reducing one’s carbon footprint is becoming more of a concern, the environmental benefits of ebikes are making them more and more appealing to conscientious consumers. Enbikes can serve as a vastly more viable replacement for cars than the traditional bicycle due to their advanced capabilities. Story Bikes, for example, can go up to 20 miles per hour and you can ride 45 miles on a fully charged battery.
How Do EBikes Fit In The Hospitality Business?
Once people begin to travel again, their needs are not going to be the same as they were pre-pandemic. As a result, hotels must make new accommodations, and those able to appeal to changing needs will stand apart. Bike-friendly hotels are now vital.
Tourists – who may be wary of crowded public transportation for years to come – will be looking for alternatives. Car rentals are not only expensive, but parking is often limited in popular attractions and many tourists are not entirely comfortable driving in unfamiliar places. Not only does the cost of rideshares and cabs can add up fast, these choices come with safety concerns similar to those surrounding public transportation. Being in a sealed vehicle will likely be unappealing to many tourists.
Ebikes provide the perfect fix for these dilemmas. They are a cost-effective option for socially distanced outdoor travel. Ebikes allow guests to navigate cities freely without undue anxiety or expenses. Hotels that offer complimentary or discount ebike rentals as an amenity will have an edge over the competition.
This may seem like a temporary trend, but ebike benefits will not vanish with the pandemic. Ebikes were already on the rise in 2018 and 2019. The COVID-19 pandemic might have accelerated the ebike trend, but it certainly did not create it. There is no reason to expect the popularity of ebikes will fizzle out after the pandemic passes – especially as more and more consumers are introduced to them.
Many issues surrounding transportation while traveling will exist long after the pandemic. Ebikes will still be a solution. An ebike provides independence from public transportation as well as fresh air and exercise. Plus, biking is a recreational activity in and of itself for many tourists. If a hotel provides ebikes, this incentivizes consumers to choose it over the competition.
The Bottom Line
While they’ve gotten buzz recently due to a rise in cycling worldwide, the ebikes industry has always been forward thinking. Ebike companies are able to anticipate shifts in consumer behavior and meet those needs. The industry has always been ahead of the curve in terms of providing a solution to a litany of common problems.
Investors are now pouring money into ebikes for a good reason. They’re poised to take off in the coming years as they’re uniquely equipped to meet changing consumer needs. For the hospitality industry especially, ebikes can be an enticing amenity for travelers looking for safe, innovative ways to navigate the city. Expect bike-friendly hotels to be on the rise soon.