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Highlights: Communicating the cycle tourism experience

04.10.2018
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Five international expert shared during the EuroVelo and Cycle Tourism Conference 2018 the top innovations on communicating and promoting the cycle tourism experience in Europe and beyond. In this post, you will find out more about ‘Cycling in Flanders Project’, how to use social media, marketing strategies for long distance cycle routes, using software innovations and Israel Bike Trail.

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During about 90 minutes, five international experts and over 50 delegates had the opportunity to exchange best practices on communicating the cycle tourism experience. Dries Verclyte, Project Manager at Visit Flanders, shared with the participants in the EuroVelo and Cycle Tourism Conference the innovations when promoting and communicating ‘Cycling in Flanders’. Dries highlighted how international visitors are targeted by using Flander’s well known (cycling) culture: sport cycling, cobblestones, Eddy Merckx and of course… beer! Flanders’ cycle route network comprises over 1,200km of long distance cycle routes and a cycle node network of over 1,300km. Would you like to know more about what a visitor can experience when visiting Flanders? Check out www.cyclinginflanders.cc.

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Focusing on social media, Jeroen Peeters (Online Coordinator of Toerisme Limburg) shared with the participants of the session how social media can make the difference when promoting a destination. Taking into account the strong competition between destinations, Jeroen highlighted the need to be ‘unique’. In order to become successful on social media, a destination has to offer a ‘unique experience’ (in the case of Limburg, an extraordinary cycle route network, unique cycle experiences and scenic routes). Furthermore, Jeroen mentioned how important it is to make it easy for your audience to share their experiences (#AltijdLimburg).

Dany Heck, Deputy Manager Director of the East Belgian Tourism Agency explained how the use of an innovative software solution for planning your route can improve the experience of the visitors who choose the bicycle in order to discover East Belgium. Dany used as an example how thanks to this route planned, the user is able to receive up to date data (e.g. hunting season and route deviations). Putting technology at the service of the users can transform the experience and avoid last minute surprises!

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One of our international experts came from the other side of the Mediterranean Sea. Hillell Sussman (Project Manager at Israel Bike Trail) presented this nation-wide project and the innovative involvement of volunteers on its development. Furthermore, taking into account the challenges of the territory (arid areas), a detailed web site that also collects users feedback is the main promotional tool of this ambitious project. Open almost all year long (weather conditions are excellent while in Europe it is winter), could Israel become a leader cycle tourism destination? It seems they are on the right pace!

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“It was very difficult for us to make the desert friendly, but we made it friendly!”

He also showed the trailer of the Israel Bike Trail:

Last but not least, Fong Choo Leong (Cycle Tourism Officer at ADFC) shared the perspective from a mature cycle tourism market (Germany) on marketing strategies of long distance cycle routes. Focused mainly on the numerous national cycle tourism market, Choo shared with the participants that Germany has over 250 long distance cycle routes, experienced travelers and a strong internal competition. In order to reach successful results, Choo recommended the ingredients to the German success: cross-cutting themes, events, campaigns and cooperation. Did you know that 10% turnover in the tourist industry in Germany comes from cycle tourism?

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