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EuroVelo and Cycle Tourism Conference Parallel Sessions: Session C – Communicating the cycle tourism experience

03.09.2018
Dany Heck - photo (1)

The EuroVelo and Cycle Tourism Conference 2018 will take place on 26-28 September. In this series of articles, we present you the six parallel sessions of the conference, in which speakers from 11 different nationalities will address cycle tourism topics such as innovations, communication, infrastructure and intermodality. All sessions are linked to the theme for this year’s Conference, which is “Experiencing the Unique”.

Session C – “Communicating the cycle tourism experience” will take place on 27 September, from 11:15 to 12:45. Communication is now more visual and digital than ever before and this session focuses on the latest trends in communicating and promoting cycle tourism products. Ever wondered how to get the best out of social media? What is a successful marketing strategy for long distance cycle routes? Or how to use visual communication to reach your target audience? This session will provide the answers to these questions and more, so do not miss this opportunity to learn from some of the world’s leading cycle tourism destinations!

The speakers in this session are Dries Verclyte, Jeroen Peeters, Dany Heck (Belgium), Hillel Sussman (Israel), and Fong Choo Leong (Germany). Read on to discover who they are and what they will be talking about in this session!

Dries Verclyte

Dries Verclyte is Product Manager Fietscultuur (Cycling Culture) at VisitFlanders, Flanders’ tourism office, and a keen cyclist himself. Originally from Ghent, he studied European Studies in Durham, public administration in Ghent and tourism in Antwerp. He has been working for VisitFlanders for more than 12 years, organizing cycling events and promoting a cycling culture in general. At the EuroVelo and Cycle Tourism Conference, he will give a presentation titled Cycling in Flanders Project (Cycling culture of Flanders).

JeroenPeeters

Jeroen Peeters is Online Coordinator at Toerisme Limburg (Limburg’s tourism office). He describes himself as an online addict, passionate about travel and tourism and curious about digital marketing trends. In the frame of his job, his mission is to reinvent the online identity of Toerisme Limburg by releasing a brand new digital concept, and of course to show everyone the beauty of the Limburg’s region and the hospitality of its inhabitants.

Jeroen is a specialist of storytelling and content marketing, with a strong experience in communications and social media management. At the EuroVelo and Cycle Tourism Conference, he will share his experience and advices in a talk titled How to use social media?

Dany Heck - photo (2)

Dany Heck is Deputy Managing Director of the East Belgium Tourism Agency and Responsible for product development with specialization on hiking and cycling. In 2001 he joined the East Belgium Tourism Agency to plan and develop the 850 km long Cycle network “VeloTour” which was launched in 2004. After this he reorganized the Mountainbike product of Eastbelgium by focussing on digital solutions (2006) and initiating GPS guided tours and organizing GPS rental stations.

From 2009 till 2013 he was responsible for marketing and product development of the “Vennbahn”, which was internationally awarded on several occasions and is one of the longest rail bike paths in Europe. Within the framework of a Leader-project and looking out for new communication facilities, he imagined a new communication tool, which is embedded in the route planner GO Eastbelgium. Important information for cyclists and hikers is now directly visible in the map on which you plan your tour. Discover it during his presentation, titled Routeplanner Software Innovation.

Israel Bike Trail

Hillel Sussman of the Israel Nature and Parks Authority (INPA) is director and project manager of the Israel Bike Trail, which he is actively promoting as most people don’t know that there are plenty of navigable cycle routes crisscrossing the country. Israel Bike Trail is a mountain-biking trail along the entire length of Israel, from Mt. Hermon in the North to Eilat in the South. Those 1,100 km of cycle trails offer spectacular desert riding along single tracks and dirt roads. The first 300-km segment of the route is all sign-posted and designed for smooth cycling. Tourist facilities for cyclists are available along the route.

Eight years ago, Hillel Sussman and his colleague Yuval Peled came up with the idea of creating a long-distance trail for bicycles that not only could connect the cycling community to nature and the environment, but also could serve as a challenging catalyst to infuse geography and travel into the growing interest around the country in mountain biking. They worked out a general route though the most attractive scenery in Israel. In developing the trail, they took its environmental impact and the preservation of nature and heritage sites into account, among other issues [source]. At the EuroVelo and Cycle Tourism Conference, Hillel will present this project in a talk titled Israel Bike Trail – Developing a national MTB Route.

Fong Choo Leong - Photo

Fong Choo Leong works as Cycling Tourism Officer at the Berlin Headquarters of the German Cyclists’ Association (ADFC e. V. Bundesverband). With more than 170.000 members the ADFC is the largest association for cycling advocacy worldwide. Ms. Leong’s tasks include the EuroVelo 3 – Pilgrims Route project, the organisation of expert committee’s meetings, as well as the classification and certification of ADFC quality routes and cycling holiday regions. By awarding these seals the ADFC has established uniform quality standards for long-distance cycle routes and cycling holiday regions across Germany.

Born in 1990, Ms. Leong graduated from the Harz University of Applied Sciences in 2018 with a Master degree in Tourism and Destination Development. During her studies, she worked as a student trainee for a Leipzig based consultancy focusing on active tourism such as mountain bike and cycle tourism. She wrote her master thesis on the success factors of cycle tourism in Germany, Austria, Switzerland and South Tyrol. At the EuroVelo and Cycle Tourism Conference, she will give a talk titled Cycling holiday in Germany- Truely inspring: Marketing strategies of long distance cycle routes.

The moderator of this session will be Jesus Freire, Business Development Officer at the ECF. Jesus, from Spain, has a background in Political Science and European Studies. He also has a relevant experience in project management, business development and advising public and private actors in (cycle) tourism and EU funding mechanisms. Jesus joined the EuroVelo Management Team in 2013.