East-Flanders invests in cycling tourism. Tourists can see, do, taste and experience the Homeland of Cycling.
Cycling is part of the genetic make-up of the residents of the East-Flanders. Races draw huge crowds and result in a spontaneous festival.
1) Tourists can enjoy the spectacle and atmosphere of a classic cycling race (see)
2) Tourists can experience how it is to cycle on the famous bergs and cobblestones and go for a ride (do)
3) Connecting cycling with: the exploration of the landscape, the regional products, the cultural heritage (taste and experience)
Homeland of Cycling creates different cycling experiences for an international audience. Actions:
- Cycling route infrastructure: 115 cycling routes, create your own route (cycle ‘nodes’ where cycling paths intersect), thematic routes (Tour of Flanders route, Plan Beer route, Eddy Merckx route).
- Experience centre ‘Tour of Flanders’ (museum, workshops and shop)
- Guided tours by famous ex-cyclists
- Race day tourism (experience the start or finish of a professional race)
- Tour of Flanders cyclo ‘We ride Flanders’ and ‘Retro ronde’
- Linking cycling to regional products: local food and beverages, beer, bars,…
- Admire the landscape through the cycling events. Slow TV experiment.
- Cycling for disabled people.
- Knowledge and product development on cycling tourism with private partners, government and knowledge centres.
Municipalities, cycling race organisers, lodging sector, SMEs active in cycling, social economy, media
A sports culture, event and/or personality
Sports infrastructure and maintenance
Digital platform and communication
Evidence of success
Thousands of cycling tourists every year
Cycling on cobblestones and bergs is rather hard. Walking is more attractive to a broader spectrum of people.
Infrastructure (cycling nodes, bike rental,…) is key!
Potential for learning or transfer
Regions with a sports culture, important sports event and/or a famous sports personality, can easily create a tourism product.
A cooperation project with Une Autre Provence (Mont Ventoux, France) illustrates this.