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The impact of cycle tourism

Throughout Europe, Cycle tourism is on the rise. Cross-border cycle routes are emerging to the delight of travellers seeking more sustainable tourism. So they’re satisfied travellers. But what about the host cities? What impact does the passage of these cycling tourists have on our lands in terms of everyday mobility?

1.       An Entry Point for Everyday Cycling

Holidaymakers tend to extend the positive experience of holidaycycling to their daily lives.

Many new users who try cycling on their holiday end up using it every single day.
 Frédéric Héran. Le retour de la bicyclette

2.       Development of Cycle Networks in Rural and Urban Areas

For travellers, the quality of cycling facilities informs their choice of destination. Depending on the demand to develop their tourist facilities, host sites are investing in quality bicycle networks. An investment that is also beneficial for the local population.

EuroVelo: Responsible for uniform signage and an infrastructure separate from motor traffic

The European network EuroVelo is made up of 16 long-distance thematic routes crossing 42 countries across more than 70,000km.

3.       Restoration of Public Spaces

To offer tourists enjoyable routes, far from ultra-touristy areas, tourist cities have appropriated disused routes, such as railways and towpaths.

RAVeL: 45 local routes on towpaths and former railway lines

The development of this network RAVeL has required an investment of nearly 137 million euros in the Walloon region since 2002 to introduce more than 1400km of green routes that are almost entirely separated from traffic

4.       Improvement of the Cities’ Image
Cycle tourism is subscribed to a sustainable approach, offering a better quality of life. How to improve their tourism appeal. Discovering urban life by bike also offers tourists and locals mostly unknown opportunities: thematic paths, contact with inhabitants, etc.

visit.brussels relies on cycling to discover all sides of Brussels

visit.brussels, the Brussels-based tourism agency’s mission is to extend and reinforce the Brussels-Capital Region’s image.

5.       Creation of a Community of Tourist Operators
Thanks to the impetus of the Commissariat général au tourisme [the Government Tourism Advisory Service], there are more than 600 tourist operators in Wallonia who have come together to organise tourist services under the label “Bienvenue Vélo” [Welcome Bikes].

Bienvenue vélo: the bike-friendly label

The hotel and catering industry, tourist attractions and accommodation providers have capitalised on the welcoming of cycling tourists, identifiable thanks to the « Bienvenue vélo » label.

6.       Support for the Local Economy
Touring cyclists tend to spend more: an average of 66 euros per day per person.

7.       Local dynamic
Cycling-related events also play a part in the local dynamic.

For more than 20 years « Le beau vélo de RAVeL » has brought together around 5000 people at each event.

By travelling through Wallonia and Brussels along cycle routes, the participants can convivially discover the local area: sampling regional dishes, attending a concert and discovering a sporting activity.

Through developing personalised solutions that facilitate and encourage people to transition to cycling, the non-profit organisation Pro Velo contributes to a higher quality of life.