Cycling friendly service schemes evaluate tourist services - such as restaurants, cafes, accommodation providers, tourist attractions etc. - to assess whether they cater to the specific needs of cycle tourists. As such they can be an invaluable tool for cycle tourists and can help to develop more sustainable tourism offers.
Welcomed by Máriusz Révész (Commissioner for Active Hungary, Government of Hungary), the representatives of some of the main European cycling friendly services schemes presented their systems and exchanged ideas and best practices. On the first day of the two-day workshop, the participants discussed the main success factors and mistakes to avoid when developing and implementing national or regional scheme to an audience of international and local participants.
During the second day, the discussion moved towards the benefits of establishing a European level cooperation among the different schemes and the highlight was reached with the signature by all participants of the Declaration ‘European Cyclists are Welcome!’.
The Declaration addresses the need to improve the quality of cycling friendly services in Europe; increasing the recognition of the existing schemes by creating European level cooperation; encouraging the creation of new schemes in those countries where they do not exist yet; and the exchange of knowledge between the existing schemes.
In order to do so, the signatories agreed on creating a sustainable long-term cooperation on the European level taking the subsidiarity principles into account based on the different role European, national, regional stakeholders can play.
Among the topics discussed during the workshop, the managers of the different national and regional cycling friendly schemes also reached a consensus on the common minimum criteria that cycling friendly accommodations should cover:
1. Cycling friendly approach (behavior) towards all kind of cyclists – inclusivity and diversity
2. Safe place to store the bike for the night
3. Possibility to dry clothes and equipment
4. Provide breakfast and free access to drinking water
5. Free information about regional cycling routes and offers
6. Repair kit (incl. manual) and/or cooperation with professional repair service providers
Additional or optional criteria can be set in national/regional schemes (more information on the content of the Declaration -objectives and principles- can be found here).
In the frame of the workshop, the participants also discussed next steps, including setting up informal cooperation between the existing schemes led by ECF; sharing related news on the ECF and national websites; and organising a webinar in the second half of 2020.