EuroVelo 6 Atlantic to the Black Sea cycle route was recognised as the ‘Most Popular EuroVelo Route’ of 2018 while, for a second year in a row, France took the honour as the ‘Most Popular Cycle Tourism Country’.
This was at the second annual EuroVelo Cycle Tourism Awards were held at ITB Berlin 2019 earlier this month. We had previously reported on last year’s event.
Representatives from EuroVelo 6 and France received the trophies from Adam Bodor, ECF Advocacy and EuroVelo Director on the Main Stage in ITB Berlin’s Hall 4.1. The awards were held during the Cycling Tourism Day organised by the European Cyclists’ Federation (ECF) in cooperation with ADFC (German National Cyclists’ Association).
With 8 EuroVelo routes that cover more than 8,000 km, France is one of the leading cycling tourism destinations in the world. During 2018, the French sections of EuroVelo.com received the most visitors with more than a million pageviews. It is not surprising when you consider that, as of January 2019, 85% of the planned EuroVelo routes are already implemented in the country thanks to the long and concerted effort by the French National Coordination Centre, Vélo & Territoires. They also recently revamped the France Vélo Tourism website which contains latest news, itineraries and other resources to discover France by bike. The itineraries in France offer cyclists a varied natural and cultural heritage scattered across many beautiful regions that run along coasts, rivers, castles and vineyards. Some popular examples are La Loire à Vélo (EuroVelo 6), La Vélodyssée (EuroVelo 1), La ViaRhôna (EuroVelo 17) and parts of the Rhine Cycle Route (EuroVelo 15).
Camille Thomé, Vélo & Territoires Director commented “EuroVelo routes are our champion routes in France and leading the way for our national cycle route network’s development. French local authorities are now quite broadly committed to developing cycling. It’s a long-haul process and we have a lot of catching up to do before we reach the quality of Germany or the Netherlands, but EuroVelo is a flagship for our national tourism offer and are also used for everyday mobility.”
The success of cycling tourism in France partly contributes to EuroVelo 6 – Atlantic – Black Sea becoming the most popular EuroVelo route last year. EuroVelo 6 saw a record 69.2% increase in page visits from France. This meant that the route experienced an unprecedented surge of interest in comparison to last years’ winner EuroVelo 15 (which nevertheless registered an overall 5.9% increase on the French Eurovelo platform). Known for its famous sections along the Loire and the Danube Rivers, EuroVelo 6 stretches 4,448 km across the continent from Saint-Nazaire to the Danube Delta. Capital cities, UNESCO sites, festivals or culinary delights, the cycle route has something for everybody!
Vladan Krečković, Danube Competence Center Project Coordinator added “It was a great honour for the Danube Competence Centre (DCC) to accept the award in the name of all National EuroVelo Coordination Centres along the EuroVelo 6 Route. We are very pleased to learn that the tourists recognised EuroVelo 6 – Atlantic–Black Sea cycling route as the most popular in Europe. The sections of the route between Passau and Vienna annually attract more than 650,000 cycling visitors already. However, we believe that there is lots of potential for it to grow further as the route continues to be developed.
For the DCC, as an organisation dedicated to development of tourism and cycling tourism, it is pleasure to see how overall development of the EuroVelo 6 route, brings more international cyclists into the regions of Middle and Lower Danube every year. This international award is the outcome of strong cooperation between the local partners, National EuroVelo Coordination Centres and ECF colleagues. It is through this cooperation and the realisation of projects in the field of cycling, tourism and sustainable mobility, that the route will gain even greater visibility in the future. This prize is only confirmation that we are all moving in right direction.”
The EuroVelo Cycle Tourism Awards are given each year to the most popular country and EuroVelo route based on a number of different criteria, including web statistics and a popular choice survey. The main purpose of the Awards is to celebrate the contribution made towards promoting cycling tourism by the winning candidates and to encourage others to follow in their footsteps to receive the coveted EuroVelo winners’ title and trophy.