The 3-day fair was the occasion to meet tourism professionals from all over the world, journalists and stakeholders, as well as national and regional partners of EuroVelo across Europe. 90,000+ participants from 180 countries took part in ITB Berlin 2023 with 5,500 exhibitors from 161 countries. ITB Berlin also attracted media interest with around 3,000 media professionals and over 330 travel bloggers from Germany and beyond.
EuroVelo was represented at four sessions on cycling tourism, and the new EuroVelo Overview Map and two route extensions were launched during a special event at the EuroVelo booth. The booth was constantly buzzing with people interested to meet the team, learn more about cycling tourism in Europe and get a copy of the map.
How and why cycling tourism is essential: EuroVelo presentations at ITB
The EuroVelo Management Team was involved in four sessions to demonstrate the relevance of cycling to master the post-pandemic transformation of tourism.
At the ITB Convention on the Youth, Adventure & Outdoor Track, EuroVelo Manager Agathe Daudibon discussed Cycling, the perfect answer to the needs of today’s tourism. The presentation focused on the impact of cycling tourism in Europe, on the trends and best practices from the EuroVelo network and is accessible here. The ITB Berlin Convention, under the motto Mastering Transformation, gathered 400 speakers in 200 sessions of 18 different thematic tracks.
On 9 March, the 4th Cycling Tourism Day took place in the Adventure, Responsible and Youth tourism hall. Agathe Daudibon was again on stage for a session called EuroVelo ‒ Discover Europe by Bike in 2023 and presented the European cycle route network, its development and goals, as well as the steps to plan the perfect trip on EuroVelo routes and four examples of unforgettable travel experiences. Agathe's presentation can be consulted at this link.
The session Cycling tourism ‒ How to benefit from the growing segment saw Florence Grégoire, EuroVelo and Projects Officer at ECF, Miklós Berencsi, Project Manager at Centre for Development of Active and Ecotourism (AOFK) and Michael Maier, Bicycle Tourism Officer at ADFC present best practices on the growth and accessibility of cycling tourism products, with examples respectively from EuroVelo 1 – Atlantic Coast Route, Hungary and Germany. View the presentation here.
E-bikes are another hot topic in the world of cycling tourism. In the session E-bikes ‒ A real change for cycling tourism? Agathe Daudibon partnered up with Gustavo Timo, Vice President Growth and Product at Adventure Travel Trade Association (ATTA) to discuss the potential of e-bikes and the specific needs of this new type of user. You can access the presentation at this link.
Launch of EuroVelo Overview Map and two EuroVelo route extensions
ITB was also the occasion to present the 2023 edition of the EuroVelo Overview Map and two route extensions at a dedicated event at the EuroVelo booth on 9 March.
The new map aims to inspire people to take their bikes and choose EuroVelo for their holidays. Printed in 40,000 copies every three years, it is one of the main promotional tools for the 17 routes and the 38 countries they cross. The EuroVelo Management Team relies on the precious help of its 23 National Coordination Centres to create, distribute the Overview Map locally and raise awareness at a national level.
It was then the turn to present the extension of EuroVelo 3 – Pilgrims Route in Galicia, Spain, from Santiago de Compostela to Cape Fisterra, for a total of 90 km. The new route stretch to the ancient end of the world was presented by Guti Martin, representing Galicia Turismo, which was in charge of the development and promotion efforts.
The second route announcement was the completion of EuroVelo 14 – Waters of Central Europe, extending the route for 400 km to Debrecen along important Hungarian rivers, lakes, thermal baths and going through Budapest. The work of the Centre for Development of Active and Ecotourism state agency and the Hungarian Cycling Tourism Association NGO was key to this achievement, presented during the launch event by Miklós Berencsi, Project Manager at AOFK.
The participation of EuroVelo to ITB was made possible thanks to the support of the four transnational partnerships on EuroVelo 1 – Atlantic Coast Route, EuroVelo 8 – Mediterranean Route, EuroVelo 15 – Rhine Cycle Route and EuroVelo 19 – Meuse Cycle Route. The ongoing Long Term Management Agreements for these routes include participating in ITB Berlin in their action plans for 2023. The EuroVelo Management Team is grateful for this support and has given large visibility to these routes presenting best practices and showcasing dedicated promotional materials.