【DE】Eurobike Travel Talk 2021: New trends in international bike tourism

Lake Constance hosts 20th business exchange on future topics in tourism with high-calibre speakers

Friedrichshafen – The bicycle industry is in motion and cycle tourism is booming – and more so than ever due to Covid-19. “Micro-adventures” on the doorstep are replacing globetrotting – what role does cycle tourism play in terms of safe holidays and does the trend towards local outdoor experiences offer a sustainable prospect for the travel sector? In the 20th edition of Travel Talk, the congress for cycle tourism, on 3 September 2021 the bike and tourism sectors will be meeting up again at Eurobike in Friedrichshafen to discuss, be inspired network and work together.

Photo:eurobike.com

While the tourism industry was having to struggle with opening strategies, hygiene regulations and bed capacities in order to ensure guests of an attractive, yet safe holiday, figures for the demand and take-up of “new” and fun forms of bikes, such as gravel bikes, e-MTBs and cargo bikes, were going through the roof. As the interface between the two sectors, cycle tourism is benefiting particularly at a local level. Since the advent of travel restrictions imposed by the pandemic – if not before – holidays on the doorstep or ‘staycations’ have become a megatrend.

Focus topic: micro-adventure

The term micro-adventure describes exploratory cycle trips in nearby areas both on and far away from roads and cycle paths. In the narrower sense, it involves short trips without a great deal of preparation, but a high fun and recreational factor. Strap the bags to the bike, steer a course through the countryside and find somewhere to stay overnight – what more do you need? Yet how can tourist regions benefit from the trend of bikepacking with individual travellers on the one hand and organised events, and freshly founded clubs on the other. This is what pioneer Gunnar Fehlau will be discussing with guests from the industry and destinations, including the creative women behind the blogs Radelmädchen and Heimatnomadin. In addition, there will be a keynote speech from Axel Carion, founder of the global ultra-distance cycling race series, Biking Man.

What better way to publicise tourist regions than tales of adventure set in breathtaking natural scenery. To make sure that this campaign enjoys success too, it is important to get the stories and target groups right as well as the cooperation between bloggers and regions. Examples from Swabia, in south-west Germany, as well as Slovenia, on influencer marketing and user-generated routes will serve to illustrate this focus topic.

More and more cyclists are opting for the train to reach their holiday destinations. So how bike-friendly are the European rail companies? The CEO of the European Cyclists’ Federation (ECF), Jill Warren, will be presenting a study on this very topic.

The afternoon sessions take an intensive look at two aspects. When families go on holiday, they usually have a large number of demands and expectations of the destinations. In particular, the planning and logistics involved often turn such a micro-adventure into a macro-adventure for parents. What progress are regions making with cargo bikes, how can the whole family go mountain biking and what to do with the dog on holiday are just some of the issues in the first deep-dive session. The second goes more into the details of using existing tourist infrastructure for cycle tourism – as, for example, mountain bike parks in ski resorts already show. Examples from mountain and flat regions help to illustrate what is possible.

Alongside best-practice examples and the discussion of currently trending topics, brief pitch sessions on the subject of “Local to Global” will present new and exciting products for cycle tourism. Before, during and after the congress, however, the focus will be on networking between the bicycle and tourism industries. And this will be taking place live at Eurobike at Lake Constance, after Travel Talk 2020 had to take place virtually because of the pandemic.

About Eurobike Travel Talk

Since 2002, Eurobike Travel Talk has been bringing together international representatives from the field of tourism and the bicycle business as well as media professionals and bloggers under the auspices of the leading global bicycle trade fair Eurobike in Friedrichshafen. The 20th edition of the cycle tourism congress is taking place on 3 September 2021 as a live event featuring presentations and an opportunity for networking to exchange ideas on the latest trends and innovations.

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