How To Start an Eco-Friendly Cycling Tours Business

Cycling is one of the most eco-friendly ways to travel because it relies on human energy, rather than fossil fuels, for power. In addition to being popular with eco-tourists, cycling tours are perfect for travelers interested in leisurely tours with plenty of opportunity to soak up the local scenery and culture.

Starting an eco-friendly cycling tours business is a great green business opportunity for cycling enthusiasts with a passion for travel or an in-depth knowledge of local history and culture.

Planning Your Eco-Friendly Cycling Tour Business

Your first step should be to decide what types of tours you plan to offer. Popular tour types include:

  • Self-guided tours, which may be as simple as a rental bike and a map of interesting local tourist attractions, or as complex as a fully planned multi-day tour with all equipment and accommodations provided
  • Guided tours, which take small groups for tours lasting anywhere from a hour to a week or more, led by an experienced and knowledgeable guide
  • Adventure tours, for the most experienced cycling enthusiasts among your guests, may include strenuous off-road travel, camping, and more
  • Specialty tours, such as tours of local wineries, birding spots, or history sites

Riding in bikes instead of cars isn’t the only way you can green your cycling tour business. Using eco-friendly bicycle repair techniques, or patronizing a local eco-friendly bike repair shop, is another way to reduce your impact.

If you’ll be arranging overnight accommodations for your guests, partner with green bed & breakfasts or other hotels working to reduce their environmental impact. Restaurants specializing in locally grown food not only reduce your tour’s carbon footprint, they also offer a great way to introduce your guests to local food culture! You could even create a specialty tour highlighting local green businesses, such as organic orchards, green lunch trucks, or eco coffee shops.

More green tips for eco-friendly cycling tour operators include using recycled paper and eco-friendly inks for brochures, maps, and other advertising and informational material, using eco-friendly equipment such as reusable water bottles and eco-friendly cycling clothes, and offering carbon offsets for guests who reach the tour by car or plane.

Three Eco-Friendly Cycling Tour Operators For a Great Green Trip

EcoBike Cycling Vacations, based in Ramat Gan, Israel, offers eco-friendly cycling tours of Israel, including both custom tours and pre-planned trips such as their popular Bike & Beer tour of Tel Aviv. EcoBike’s licensed and experienced tour guides are committed to environmental protection, and to providing a fun, sporty, and authentic experience for guests.

Bali Budaya Tours strives to provide the most environmentally and culturally friendly cycling tours on the island of Bali. The tours offer guests an authentic Bali experience that goes beyond the typical tourist experience in Bali, including trips to small Balinese villages and plantations, local temples, and natural areas.

Escape Adventures specializes in eco-friendly adventure travel throughout the Western United States, with a focus on mountain biking, road cycling, hiking, and multi-sport tours. Escape Adventures uses biodiesel-powered support vehicles, runs its office and bike repair shop on solar power, and recycles more than 90% of the waste generated on each tour, in addition to other eco-friendly practices.


Main Image Credit: TheGiantVermin and bensonkua

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  1. Sean says:

    Good post Kerry…finding this a little late, but those are some good points. I think the easiest way to setup a tour company would be to provide bikes/maps/info for people to do their own tours. Once that business is up and running, the additional capital should allow you to branch out and hire guides for longer tours and specialty tours.

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