Strong showing for cycle tourism at Velo-city 2017


The world’s largest cycle planning conference took place in Arnhem and Nijmegen earlier this month and there were numerous sessions related to cycle tourism and leisure cycling across the four days, many of which featured our National EuroVelo Coordination Centres and Coordinators.  Here we provide a little overview of some of the key sessions.

The benefits of cycle tourism at a local level
This session on Tuesday 13th June brought together four quite diverse case studies that demonstrated the many positive impacts that cycle tourism can have on the local level.  Some of the speakers also looked at the relationship between cycling for recreation and transport.  From using recreational routes for multipurpose mobility in Quebec, to diversifying the tourism offer for city breaks in France.  And from using cycle tourism as a gateway to wider use of the bicycle for mobility in Brazil to convincing Danes that their bicycle can be used for recreation as well as transport in the cycling city of Copenhagen.

Tourism Bikenomics
It is increasingly recognised that cycling tourism is a booming part of the tourism sector. According to a study commissioned by the European Parliament in 2012, it already contributes over 44 billion Euro to the EU economy every year with plenty of scope to grow. This session on Wednesday 14th June looked at the many benefits of cycle tourism but particularly focused on the economic impact and the arguments that can be used to convince potential investors from the public and private sectors. It also considered what can be done to increase the economic impact, particularly in those countries where cycle tourism is only just starting to take off.

Cycle Tourism Governance
Creating successful cycle tourism destinations requires the input of a diverse array of actors in both the public and private sectors, from highways agencies to service providers, tourism bodies to organisations representing user groups. Cooperation and coordination is therefore the key to success. This session on Thursday 15th June brought together five speakers to share different approaches to cycle tourism governance across Europe in order to achieve this aim. In Norway and in France, concrete examples were used to demonstrate how the organisational structures work in practice.

Louise Presentation

Combining everyday cycling and leisure: complimentary or challenging?
The development of leisure cycling routes can create the right conditions for long distance cycle commuting, such as the RijnWaalpad in Arnhem and Nijmegen, the Green Routes in Quebec and the EuroVelo 6 and Rákos-patak in Budapest. Moreover, leisure cycling can help to change behaviour and act as a gateway to everyday cycling. But is it as smooth and seamless as it sounds? Are the leisure cyclists of today, the commuter cyclists of the future? This session on the final day of the conference considered the challenges as well as the benefits of investing in leisure cycling and the relationship with everyday cycling.

There were many other sessions that touched on the these issues including a Cycle Tourism Speed Date session!

All the presentations from the conference will soon be available from the conference website.