Highlights: Developing experiences, the future of cycle tourism products


Five international expert shared during the EuroVelo and Cycle Tourism Conference 2018’s the best practices on developing cycle tourism experiences that meet a demanding market: unique experiences. In this post, you will find out more about the key factors to develop cycle tourism products, the latest developments of the candidates EuroVelo route EuroVelo 14 – Waters of Central Europe in Hungary and EuroVelo 19 – Meuse Cycle Route in Netherlands, developing the UK National Cycle Route Network and the opportunities that the market offer for the development of cycle tourism in Belgium.

Session D_Questions (2)

Carlos Martin Ruiz, Senior Consultant at Bikefriendly (Spain) shared with the participants the 5 keys for developing successful cycle tourism products and their experience in Spain: territorial specialization, specialization of the local private cycle tourism sector, network of complementary activities and services, adequate promotion of the bikefriendly destination and commercialization ecosystem. ‘The key is the coverage of the entire value chain’ Carlos said during his presentation.


Miklós Berencsi, head of the Cycling Coordination Department in the Ministry of Innovation and Technology of Hungary, shared with the participants the latest development along the EuroVelo candidate route: EuroVelo 14 – Waters of Central Europe in Hungary, the transnational dimension of the route (involving Austria and in the future other neighboring countries). Hungary is a leading cycling nation (in terms of national cycling modal share but also investment!). ‘EuroVelo 14 – Waters of Central Europe will be a great addition to the EuroVelo network’ Miklós said during his presentation.

Will Haynes is Infrastructure Director at Sustrans (United Kingdom). He presented the English National Cycle Network, the development of which began in 1985 with only 1960 km realised. In 2018, there are 26,560 km of routes in the network! The National Cycle Network is very diversified and tourists can often admire art on the side of the route. ‘The National Cycle Network is probably the largest collection of outdoor artwork in the UK’, said Will. He also talked about the four EuroVelo routes that run through the UK: EuroVelo 1, 2, 5 and 12. For the future, the objectives of Sustrans are to move the cycle routes to car-free routes, but also to develop more experience-based routes, similar to the Limburg ones. For instance, there is already a ‘Walking and cycling underground’ route in the UK, as well as – surprisingly – a ‘Walking and cycling in the air’ route!

Session D_Will Haynes (1)

Marie Secrétant is Head of Tourism and Events at Pro Vélo in Belgium. She presented study results about cycle tourism in Belgium and in the neighboring countries. In particular, she showed statistics on the behavior of cycling travelling tourist, which are very useful for tour providers and cycling events organizers. She concluded: ‘We believe that it is an opportunity for us, because at the moment there is no other tour operator focusing on Wallonia’.

Session D_ Marie Secrétant (3)

Erik Nijland is director of the Dutch Fietsplatform since its founding in 1987. The task of the Fiestplatform is to coordinate the Dutch National Cycle Network. In The Netherlands there are important developments ongoing such as restructuring the long distance cycle route network, new labeling and signposting. ‘The Dutch cycle nodes network comprises almost 33,000 km with over 9,000 crossing points’ Eric said.

Session D_Eric Nijland (2)