What we do
The general objective of the project is to enhance the development of sustainable and responsible coastal and maritime tourism in the Mediterranean area. Cycling tourism is a perfect tool for achieving this because it is one of the most sustainable forms of tourism:
- In environmental terms (e.g. low CO2 emissions during holidays by bike and less emissions to reach the destinations using public transport etc.);
- In economic terms (e.g. longer stays, more spending, more local products and services consumed etc.); and
- In social terms (e.g. dilute the impact of concentrated tourism flows, more interaction with the local population, more open tourists etc.).
The three-year MedCycleTour project has a budget of €2.5 million and 11 partners from Spain, France, Italy, Slovenia, Croatia, Greece, Cyprus and Belgium.
EuroVelo 8 - Mediterranean route is an excellent flagship project because its estimated economic impact once complete is €3.8 billion per year (if the same methodology is used as the European Parliament-commissioned study). This means 200 million cycling day trips and 2.3million overnight trips by bike per year along the Mediterranean route! It is difficult to know how much it will cost to complete and operate the route currently but based on the estimations of the EuroVelo 13 – Iron Curtain Trail and EuroVelo 3 – Pilgrims Route it will cost a few hundred million Euro maximum (in summary for 7 years). There are no other touristic or transport-related investments with such a fast return.
The project will use transnational cooperation and the support of all the stakeholders that will have been convinced of the merits of EuroVelo 8, to achieve a commitment to invest in cycle tourism in order to realize the economic potential described above. The project results will be sustainable in organizational terms as well because of the proposed participative planning methodology will ensure the support of the key decision makers and in this way, the project will be able to influence the key policies along the Mediterranean Route.
Our project will not only lead to awareness-raising about sustainable tourism (using the EuroVelo 8 - Mediterranean Route as a flagship) but we will change budget allocations (in favour of sustainable tourism) and improve practices (e.g. to implement investment measures, service development, promotion-marketing and monitoring-impact assessment).
Our expected impact and results include:
- Increase of 25% in the cycling use of the route (commuters, sport/leisure, cycle tourists), in the set of the 22 counters installed with the project (during period 2018-2020)
- The project will increase the available information about cycle tourism in the MED area, raising awareness and increasing the interest in cycle tourism of groups like youth groups, environmental bodies, cycling organizations, tour operators etc
- Local public authorities will be targeted as key actors in the development of cycle infrastructure, tourism policies and promotion. They will benefit by having better cycling friendly policies and more financial resources.
- SMEs along the cycle route will benefit from a high number of visitors that purchase services (approx. €3.8 billion/year) once the route is realized.
- The project will benefit regional public authorities by providing tools for improved cycling policies, the increased expertise and knowhow of their employees and the development of a more sustainable and responsible tourism.