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Last speakers of the afternoon plenary – Adam Bodor & Josep Rodriguez

04.10.2018
Afternoon plenary_Josep Rodriguez (5)

The afternoon plenary continued with presentations from Adam Bodor, Advocacy and EuroVelo director at the European Cyclists’ Federation, and Josep Rodriguez, European projects manager at the Barcelona Provincial Council. They focused on cycle tourism at the European and regional levels.

Adam Bodor first presented tourism in Europe as a booming business, and cycling tourism as a truly sustainable success story. He presented the main challenges that Europe is currently facing: economic, societal and environmental challenges.

Afternoon plenary_Adam Bodor (1)

“It is a big question, where Europe is going.”

But cycling tourism is already among the big players within the tourism industry. The cycling tourism industry is worth 44 billion euros, which is even more than the cruising industry, worth 39.4 billion euros. Moreover, cycling tourism provides tools to help with the three main challenges mentioned above: it helps local SMEs, helps to create local employment and local tax incomes, reduces CO2 emissions and deconcentrates the tourism flow.

Adam then showed the “wheel of cycle tourism development” to explain the different factors involved in the development of cycle tourism. In particular, it is very important to bring proper infrastructure in order to attract cycle tourists, especially the more demanding ones such as families and elderly people. This requires investment.

Adam also gave two good examples among the EuroVelo routes: the new EuroVelo 19 – Meuse Cycle Route that crosses Limburg and is currently being signposted, and EuroVelo 8 – Mediterranean Route for which more investment is leading to better development of the route.

Afternoon plenary_Adam Bodor (5)

Last speaker of the day, Josep Rodriguez presented the South of Europe point of view, and especially the field of cycle tourism in Catalonia. First, he presented NECSTour, the Network of European Regions for a Sustainable and Competitive Tourism.

Afternoon plenary_Josep Rodriguez (2)

He then talked about EuroVelo 8 – Mediterranean Route, financed by the MEDCycleTour Interreg project, which goes through Catalonia. This route has a historical meaning in Catalonia, as it follows the route that the Romans took, a long time ago. A part of EuroVelo 8 is called Pirinexus in Catalonia. It is a transborder route that connects the province of Girona in Catalonia, with the Vallespir, in the Northern Catalonia, territory of France.

Josep also presented some other long-distance routes in Catalonia, which can be accessed from EuroVelo 8: Via InterCatalunya and Via Verde de la Val de Zafan. Another new project is the Blue Ways (#viesblaves). It is a network of cycle paths that will go along the main rivers in the province.

Josep concluded: “Many times, the bike is an excuse. What people want is to arrive at a nice destination, to taste local gastronomy, etc. This is a good opportunity for us.”

Afternoon plenary_Josep Rodriguez (4)

At the end of the session, Marcio Deslandes, Velo-city director at the ECF, came on stage to invite all participants of the EuroVelo and Cycle Tourism Conference to attend Velo-city 2019 in Dublin. Abstract submission is open until 22 October 2018 for Velo-city 2019.

Watch the trailer of Velo-city 2019 here to give you a foretaste of the event!

Afernoo plenary_Marcio Deslandes (2)