On 6-10 March, the EuroVelo team returned once again to the Messe Berlin exhibition grounds for the 2019 edition of ITB Berlin, the world’s leading travel trade show. This year was busier than normal: in addition to coordinating the Cycling Tourism Day and presenting the annual EuroVelo awards, we also launched a brand new EuroVelo route.
The ITB provides a great platform to promote cycle tourism to professionals and the general public in the world’s largest cycle tourism market. The big announcement this year was the addition of a new route to the EuroVelo network, EuroVelo 19 – Meuse Cycle Route! The route crosses France, Belgium and The Netherlands for over 1,100km while following the Meuse River from its source on the Langres plateau (northern France) to its mouth on the Dutch North Sea.
Moreover, in cooperation with ADFC (German National Cyclists’ Association), EuroVelo organised the Cycling Tourism Day on Friday, 8 March. The opening session of the Cycling Tourism Day brought together leading experts from the European Cyclists’ Federation (ECF), the Allgemeiner Deutscher Fahrrad-Club e.V. (ADFC), UNESCO, the Croatian National Tourism Board, Fietsplatform, the Pomorskie Region in Poland and Ruhr Tourismus from Germany for a panel discussion about the development of “scenic cycle routes and trails through natural and cultural landscapes”.
The second annual EuroVelo Awards were also part of the day’s programme with EuroVelo 6 – Atlantic-Black Sea being recognised as the ‘Most Popular EuroVelo Route’ of 2018 while, for a second year in a row, France took the honour as the ‘Most Popular Cycle Tourism Country’. The main stage session closed with a networking reception where food and drinks were served to guests at the ECF Booth in Hall 4.1.
The afternoon session comprised of several interactive presentations that highlighted the benefits of cycling for tourism destinations. The sessions showcased successful cycle tourism products at the European, national and regional levels with practical advice and best practices to attract cycle tourists. Topics ranged from how to develop a cycle-tourism product to the more innovative tourism-marketing tools to the natural, cultural and economic impact of cycle tourism for regions. The speakers that presented these case studies were experts from Via Claudia Augusta, Junta de Andalucía, Dansk Cykelturisme, Turismo de Galicia, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern Tourismus, Fietsplatform and also the ADFC.
Over the weekend that followed (9-10 March), the ITB opened to the public. Our successful long-term developments such as EuroVelo 13 – Iron Curtail Trail, EuroVelo 15 – Rhine Cycle Route and our current on-going projects like AtlanticOnBike, Biking South Baltic!, MEDCYCLETOUR and the EuroVelo 3 – Pilgrims Route COSME project featured strongly at our booth in the Adventure Hall 4.1. It was a real success as more than a few thousand interested visitors came and used the opportunity to get valuable information about the routes.
You can find all of the individual presentations and a selection of photos at our dedicated ITB Berlin 2019 page.