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2011

European cycle tourism: tool for sustainable regional rural development?

Eijgelaar, E., Peeters, P., & Piket, P.
Bibliographical information:
Eijgelaar, E., Peeters, P., & Piket, P. (2011). European cycle tourism: tool for sustainable regional rural development? Paper presented at the Paper presented at the Second AGRIMBA-AVA Congress, Wageningen, Netherlands.


Abstract:
Cycling enjoys a growing popularity in Europe. An increasing number of regional and national cycle networks and routes are being built, and the EuroVelo and Iron Curtain Trail networks are taking shape. An economic impacts model for European cycle routes is presented. The main findings are that cycle tourists’ daily spending is comparable to that of other tourists, and that cycle tourism can contribute significantly to rural economies that have not enjoyed mainstream tourism development. However, the growth of cycle tourism is still uneven across Europe. Due to more environment-friendly transport to the destination, cycle tourism contributes significantly less to climate change compared to other forms of tourism. Public transport integration for cycle tourists is limited: carrying a bicycle by rail is not always possible and in most cases not easy. EuroVelo is currently not an important transport or tourism network but the model shows that it has considerable economic potential if developed as such. The Iron Curtain Trail provides an opportunity to develop sustainable tourism in rural regions which have been hampered in previous decades by the very existence of the Curtain itself. Further promotion of cycle tourism as one of the most sustainable holiday forms in Europe is therefore an option for sustainable tourism development. Barriers to the successful and sustainable development of cycle tourism are discussed.

Keywords: cycle tourism, cycle networks, tourism transport, economic impacts, sustainable tourism development
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