A coherent cycling network has been established along the route of EuroVelo 13 – Iron Curtain Trail, with several cycling-friendly service areas being built and joint cross-border packages created. The achievements of the IronCurtainCycling project were focused on two main activities.
First, with the development of joint products and services, the previously isolated tourist attractions in the Slovenian-Hungarian border region have become more visible, with active elements of local and cross-border tourism highlighted in particular. As part of the improvements in cycle-friendly services, the project partners created joint tourism offers, developed a mobile app, released a printed cycling map, and organised various cycling-related events. Local service providers and tour guides were able to participate in special trainings and workshops, which contributed to the closer cooperation between different tourism actors, thus ensuring the provision of quality services. Moreover, bicycle service centres have been developed in the Hungarian and Slovenian region. As part of this, modern bicycle rest areas and rentals, e-bike charging stations, as well as cycle-friendly accommodations and an Iron Curtain open-air museum were created.
Second, improvements in the cycling infrastructure of the Hungarian-Slovenian section of EuroVelo 13, and of the connected regional cycling routes. In addition to signposting of the 80 km section of EuroVelo 13 and of several other routes in the local network, a completely new cycling connection between the two countries has been established. Thanks to a unified and coherent route network, cross-border tourism packages will remain attractive in the long run. Overall, the project has contributed to the development of high-quality services and visitor-friendly infrastructure in the border region, which is expected to attract a large number of tourists to the area after the pandemic will be over.
The project partnership consisted of:
- Zala County Government, Hungary
- Scientific Research Centre Bistra Ptuj, Slovenia
- Institute for Culture, Tourism and Sport Murska Sobota, Slovenia
- Self Government Office of Vas County, Hungary
- West Pannon Regional and Economic Development Public Nonprofit Ltd, Hungary
- Municipality of Lendava, Slovenia
- National Infrastructure Developing Private Company Limited, Hungary
The project was supported by the Interreg V-A Slovenia-Hungary Cooperation Programme and co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund.