Following the Biking South Baltic project results, and based on ECF expertise and discussion with regions’ authorities, an application was submitted to the Interreg South Baltic programme with success. This project was born out of the assessment that SMEs are aware of the EuroVelo 10 – Baltic Sea Cycle Route's potential but do not know how to connect their offer with the route and market it to future customers.
Baltic Biking UPGRADE (BBU) officially started on 1 September 2023 and will run over a three-year period (2023-2026). Led by Pomorskie Tourist Board, the project involves 6 countries – including Belgium as ECF is based in Brussels – 5 being along the South Baltic part (Poland, Lithuania, Sweden, Denmark, Germany) of EuroVelo 10 – Baltic Sea Cycle Route. These five countries cover more than 4,900 km of the route, out of a total of 9,100 km, meaning more than half of the route.
BBU will address some significant challenges of SMEs located in the South Baltic Area of EuroVelo 10: lack of knowledge, underdeveloped bicycle-friendly standards, services and offers, as well as a lack of a solid business network and partnerships with relevant peers, including international stakeholders.
The main goal of the project is to assist SMEs in creating attractive bookable offers and successfully reaching out to foreign markets. For this purpose, several actions will be set up: dedicated training on creating new offers targeting an international audience, guidelines on how to start, a dedicated campaign to market the new offers, and an invitation to join the EuroVelo 10 network in the South Baltic Area.
BBU will allow for the roll-out of more and better bicycle-friendly services along EuroVelo 10, with new products and offers for cycling visitors. The ultimate aim is to make the area more visible in the international cycling tourism market and to strengthen the development and management of the route thanks to closer transnational cooperation.
Project partners of BBU are:
- Pomorskie Tourist Board, Poland (Lead Partners)
- Westpomerania Regional Tourism Organisation, Poland
- Visit Lolland-Falster, Denmark
- Danish Cycling Tourism, Dansk Cykelturisme, Denmark
- Klaipeda Region Association, Lithuania
- Region Blekinge, Sweden
- Swedish Cycling Advocacy Organisation, Cykelfrämjandet, Sweden
- City of Barth, Germany
- European Cyclists' Federation, Belgium
Associated partners are:
- Pomorskie Voivodeship, Poland
- Zachodniopomorskie Voivodeship, Poland
- Polish Tourism Organisation, Poland
- Warmia and Masuria Tourist Board, Poland
- Visit Denmark, Denmark
- Finnish Cyclists’ Federation / The Finnish Center for Cycling Tourism, Finland
- Citybike Ltd., Estonia
- Vidzeme Tourism Organisation, Latvia
- Larsson Bike, Denmark
- Jan-Pol, Poland
- JSC Baltic Bike Travel, Lithuania
The Baltic Biking UPGRADE project budget is €1,936,077.90, of which €1,548,862.32 is co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund.
Cover picture: EuroVelo 10 – Baltic Sea Cycle Route © Biking South Baltic!