Middle-aged men trading golf resorts for bike tours: report

MAMILs -- Middle-Aged-Men-In-Lycra -- are driving the popuarlty of bike tourism at the expense of...

MAMILs -- Middle-Aged-Men-In-Lycra -- are driving the popuarlty of bike tourism at the expense of golf. (Val Thoermer/Shutterstock.com)

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, Last Updated: 9:58 AM ET

In 2015, brace yourselves for increased sightings of MAMILs -- Middle-Aged-Men-In-Lycra -- as this coveted segment of the travel population swaps out their golf clubs for bikes.

Because according to a wide sweeping global trendspotting report released at the World Travel Market in London this week, bike tourism is poised to grow in popularity among middle-aged men in the US, at the expense of the traditional 'old man sport' of golf.

Published by market research group Euromonitor, 'The World Travel Market Global Trends Report 2014' points out that the number of golf players in the US has declined from 25 million in the 2000s to 19 million in 2013.

Meanwhile, in the one-year span between 2012 and 2013, the number of cyclists grew from 3.5 million to 3.8 million.

To respond to the growing interest in cycling, destinations like Oregon have been positioning themselves as cycle-friendly cities, quadrupling its state bike routes, while more travel outfits are creating cross-country bike tours around the world.

In Europe, an initiative is currently underway to develop a network of cycling routes that would connect the whole continent by 2020. EuroVelo currently comprises 14 routes. When complete, the network will span 70,000 km.

"Cycling holidays in the US satisfy the demand for activity and experiential travel. We expect to see more operators enter this sector over the next few years," said World Travel Market's senior director Simon Press in a statement.

Duvine Cycling + Adventure Co. in the US which specializes in bike tours, also reports a 70 percent spike in interest since 2009.

However, the report falls short of claiming that the golf industry is in peril, as golf tourism remains strong in Asia.

Meanwhile, the travel industry is fond of acronyms and mash-up words to describe different trends and market segments.

The creation of the word MAMIL follows the term PANKs, 'Professional Aunts, No Kids' to describe professional, childless women with extra disposable income to spend on travel for themselves, but also with nieces, nephews and godchildren.


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