Cycle tourism, a growing segment within international tourism

Cycle tourism is an increasingly well-established trend in the tourism and economic sector with a great potential for growth. In Spain alone, the cycling sector contributed almost 1.9 billion euros, with more than 22,000 employees, according to a report made by specialised media 2playbook and presented by the Royal Spanish Cycling Federation. Over 21 million Spaniards own a bicycle of some kind. What is more, between 2015 and 2019, the number of cycle tourism overnight stays increased by 34%, resulting in 13 million overnight stays.

At the European level, cycle tourism already deals in more money than the cruise segment, demonstrating the strength and value that the segment of sport tourism is building year after year across the world.

Cycle tourism had already been growing strongly and steadily for many years, but it has been accentuated by the Coronavirus pandemic together with climate change and all the environmental policies that governments are putting in place. Cycling is associated with health, sport, physical activity outdoors and sustainable transport. Cities are undergoing a rapid transformation so as to adapt to the individual means of transport by means of investments, strategic development plans, planning and creation of cycle lanes and bicycle-related infrastructure, plans to promote the use of bicycles and other individual means of transport, etc., which helps to further promote its use and to get society in general used to moving around by bike on a daily basis, including during the holidays. 

The cycle tourist traveller, a customer who is highly valued by the tourism sector

It is clear that the places and tourist destinations have realised all of this and are carrying out more and more destination development and implementation actions to adapt to cycle tourism, with the creation of new routes or the improvement and restoration of existing ones, communication and promotion plans to make them known, information points, websites specialised in offering specific information on cycle tourism services and routes, etc. More and more cycle tourism destination brands related to this segment are being created and these destinations attend specialised fairs to make them known to the different markets, especially the more mature ones in central and Northern Europe and the United States. 

Sea Otter Europe Costa Brava Girona by Continental

The Sea Otter Europe festival is located in Girona, one of the most outstanding cycle tourism destinations in Europe and the world. But the festival is also an ideal place for the different national and international destinations, specialised hotels, travel agencies and cycle tourism receptions, as well as cycle tourism services overall to introduce them and make them known to the almost 60,000 visitors who attend the festival not only to see the latest news from cycling brands, but also, why not, to look for ideas and options for possible destinations for cycling breaks or holidays. In fact, throughout all six editions of Sea Otter Europe, the number of cycle tourism stands and proposals has increased year after year, making them an important part of the fair’s attraction with a specific area dedicated to it.

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