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Renewal of EuroVelo 8 and EuroVelo 15 Partnerships

Thursday, May 23, 2024
The European Cyclists’ Federation (ECF) and its esteemed partners are thrilled to announce the renewal of the Route Partnerships for two iconic cycling routes: EuroVelo 8 – Mediterranean Route and EuroVelo 15 – Rhine Cycle Route. These renewals, covering the period from 2024 to 2026, mark a significant milestone in the ongoing efforts to promote and develop cycling tourism across Europe.

EuroVelo Route Partnerships, formerly known as Long-Term Management Agreements (LTMA) represent a pivotal evolution in the area of transnational collaboration within the cycling tourism sector. Initially stemming from EU-funded projects which reached their culmination, these Partnerships emerged as a natural continuation of successful projects, such as the MEDCYCLETOUR project from 2017 to 2020, which resulted in the EuroVelo 8 – Mediterranean Route Partnership to further develop EuroVelo across the region. Other examples of these partnerships include the DEMARRAGE project, which successfully developed EuroVelo 15 – Rhine Cycle Route, making it the first fully certified EuroVelo route. Following its conclusion in 2015, the EuroVelo 15 Partnership was established to ensure continued operational effectiveness and financial stability. Additionally, collaboration among French, Belgian, and Dutch partners led to the creation of the EuroVelo 19 Partnership, which is valid until the end of 2024. Prior partnerships have also existed, such as that of EuroVelo 1, which emerged following the success of the AtlanticOnBike project (2017-2020).

EuroVelo Route Partnerships serve as frameworks for sustaining and advancing various key aspects essential to the development of cycling routes. Notably, they focus on strengthening route infrastructure, including monitoring conditions and implementing effective signalisation, alongside facilitating cross-border public transport information to enhance accessibility. Furthermore, these partnerships actively engage in promotional activities through diverse channels like the EuroVelo web portal or social media, while also addressing inquiries and distributing information. With a dedicated emphasis on monitoring usage and undertaking organisational tasks such as planning and reporting, EuroVelo Route Partnerships exemplify a comprehensive approach to fostering sustainable transnational collaboration, fortifying the foundations for continued growth and innovation in cycling tourism.

ECF welcomes new proposals and shares its expertise for the development of new routes.

EuroVelo 8 - Mediterranean Route

EuroVelo 8 signs in Slovenia
EuroVelo 8 signs in Slovenia

EuroVelo 8, known as the Mediterranean Route, weaves through centuries of history along the picturesque Mediterranean coastline. From the sun-drenched beaches to the Mediterranean cuisine, inscribed as UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, this route offers a journey through the essence of Mediterranean life. Cyclists will encounter emerald beaches, historic landmarks, and the enchanting allure of coastal towns.

The renewal of the partnership for EuroVelo 8 underscores three key priorities:

  • Promoting and Preserving the Mediterranean Route brand: The focus will be on elevating the visibility of EuroVelo 8 through targeted marketing and communication efforts. By showcasing the rich history, cultural heritage, and culinary delights of the Mediterranean, the Partnership aims to attract cyclists and travellers from around the globe.
  • Coordinating Infrastructure and Services: A renewed emphasis will be placed on enhancing the route's infrastructure and services to ensure a seamless and enjoyable experience for cyclists. Efforts will be made to harmonise the offerings along EuroVelo 8, providing cyclists with reliable information and support throughout their journey.
  • Fostering Transnational Collaboration: The renewal of the EuroVelo 8 Partnership reaffirms a commitment to transnational cooperation. By strengthening partnerships among participating countries and regions, the Partnership aims to maximise the impact of EuroVelo 8 as a premier cycling destination.

Partners involved in the EuroVelo 8 Partnership include the Croatian National Tourist Board, Region Provence Alpes Cote d’Azure in France (lead Partner of the cycle route Committee La Méditerranée à velo – EuroVelo 8), Regional development center Koper in Slovenia, and Izmir Metropolitan Municipality, in Türkiye. ECF serves as the Secretariat.

EuroVelo 15 - Rhine Cycle Route

EuroVelo 15 - Rhine Cycle Route in North Rhine-Westphalia © Dominik Ketz, Tourismus NRW e.V.
EuroVelo 15 - Rhine Cycle Route in North Rhine-Westphalia © Dominik Ketz, Tourismus NRW e.V.

EuroVelo 15 - Rhine Cycle Route follows the majestic course of the Rhine River from its source in the breathtaking Swiss Alps to its delta in the Netherlands. This route traverses through centuries of European history, offering cyclists a journey through picturesque landscapes and historic towns. From the towering Alps to the serene riverbanks, EuroVelo 15 showcases the beauty of Europe's river landscape.

The renewal of the Partnership for EuroVelo 15 emphasises three key objectives:

  • Enhancing Route Visibility: Efforts will be intensified to raise the profile of EuroVelo 15, ensuring its prominence among cyclists and stakeholders. Increased communication strategies will spotlight the route's attractions and amenities, inviting more cyclists to experience the beauty of the Rhine.
  • Strengthening Partnerships: Collaboration among partners will be paramount to the success of EuroVelo 15. By fostering strong relationships and synergies, the Partnership will enhance the network of support for the route, ensuring its long-term sustainability and growth.
  • Adapting Strategies for Maximum Impact: The Partnership will strategically prioritise activities to maximise their impact and effectiveness. While maintaining a commitment to route quality, the focus will shift to areas with the greatest potential for enhancing the overall cycling experience along EuroVelo 15.

Partners involved in the EuroVelo 15 Partnership include National Cycling Platform Foundation (Stichting Landelijk Fietsplatform) representing the province of Zuid-Holland in the Netherlands, North Rhine-West­phalia Tourism (Tourismus NRW e.V.), Hessian Ministry of Economics, Energy, Transport and Housing (Hessisches Ministerium für Wirtschaft, Energie, Verkehr und Wohnen), Ministry of Economic Affairs, Transport, Agriculture and Viticulture Rhineland-Palatinate (Ministerium für Wirtschaft, Verkehr, Landwirtschaft und Weinbau Rheinland-Pfalz), and Black Forest Tourism (Schwarzwald Tourismus GmbH) in Germany, Switzerland Mobility Foundation representing Switzerland, and Alsace Tourism (Alsace Destination Tourisme) on behalf of the Alsace à vélo partners in France. ECF also serves as the Secretariat.

The renewal of the EuroVelo 8 and EuroVelo 15 Partnerships highlights a collective dedication to advancing cycling tourism in Europe. With a strong emphasis on Marketing and Communications, these initiatives focus on creating and disseminating B2C articles highlighting the transnational nature of the routes, while enhancing the SEO attractiveness of EuroVelo's channels. Additionally, efforts extend to social media engagement for route promotion. All these activities are accompanied by KPI tracking to monitor partnership effectiveness. Moreover, there is a push to support the expansion of multimodal options for users and the enhancement of route infrastructure. Lobbying for sustainable backing for EuroVelo Partnership Routes at various levels is also prioritised. The EuroVelo 15 Partnership includes the project to certify the quality of EuroVelo 15 for users, involving the re-certification of EuroVelo 15 infrastructure and services. Through strategic initiatives, collaborative partnerships, and a dedication to excellence, EuroVelo continues to pave the way for unforgettable cycling experiences across the continent.

Article by Pau Ramon Pulido