Cycle tourism is becoming one of the modalities of tourism with the highest demand and the province of Segovia has all the characteristics to become an important cycling tourism hub. This has been understood by the Provincial Council, which through Prodestur, the agency that deals with provincial tourism management, commissioned a study whose conclusions coincide in pointing out that the territory of Segovia is ideal to make this practice a resource that can be vital for the attraction of visitors to the whole territory, putting value to the rural environment.
In this diagnosis, which has been presented today in the House of the Seal before fifty representatives of town halls, lodgings and tourism companies, will be based the future Master Plan of Cycle Tourism in the province of Segovia, with which the institution wants to aspire to turn the territory into the mecca of bicycle touring. The act was attended by the President of the Provincial Council, Francisco Vázquez, the deputy of Prodestur Magdalena Rodríguez and the director of the Bikefriendly company, Sergio Serna, who was awarded the drafting of the Plan.
The main objective pursued with this project is the enhancement of all the resources of the province when promoting the use of bicycles as an alternative to visit the area, to deseasonalize the tourist activity and increase the number of visitors through of a proposal of high quality cycling, as well as social, economic and environmentally sustainable that meets the needs and expectations of cyclists.
The president of the Diputación has indicated that "with this initiative, from the Diputación, we will try to attract all the variants of bicycle tourism, from which they extend for more than a day away from home and that involve leisure cycling as a fundamental and important part of the visit, those based on bicycle holidays, one-day trips ... and also competition cyclists. "
Cycle tourism refers to recreational visits, whether for more than a day or just a day away from home, which involve leisure cycling as a fundamental and important part of the visit.
Cycling is a way to make tourism in a healthy and ecological way. It is a non-polluting displacement that allows the user to enjoy nature, the people and their people. It is a very developed practice in Europe; Countries like Holland, Germany, France, among others are very fond of practicing it.
The company Bikefriendly has been in charge of carrying out the radiography of the potential of the Segovian territory to attract cyclists and its reflections have been decisive for the Master Plan to be carried out. Now, once presented to the agents involved, they want to be involved in the project. After evaluating the response of the interested parties, a Quality Certification can be issued as "Bikefriendly Territory", which will generate a differentiated product of quality and with its own diffusion within the cyclist world. The creation of new routes and products to promote new attractions is not ruled out either.
One of the most important conclusions of the study is the important multiplying effect of this type of travel in the areas where it is practiced. In assessing the impact of cycling activity, in addition to direct costs there are wider positive economic effects, such as the effect of the provider or the income effect, which must be added to the direct benefit. These effects are explained because the improvement of economic activity leads to an increase in employment and economic capacity and, therefore, an increase in the spending of the same local population benefited by tourism.
Many are the examples of bicycle routes that have generated the creation of numerous economic activities in their vicinity, even where they did not exist before. This is especially relevant in those places that were not previously considered tourist destinations.
In more rural areas and with a lower degree of economic development, the incidence of these new routes is greater. It is in these spaces where the local population contributes the most, through the generation of new economic activities. The expenditure made by cyclists also has a greater impact on the local economy, more than conventional tourism does.
Local businesses and service providers benefit directly from visitor spending, since that money remains and circulates locally. In this sense, spending in small rural areas multiplies its positive effect.
Cycling routes have a very important weight when choosing the tourist destination. In Prodestur, 47 has already created interesting itineraries to carry out this activity, differentiating between road and off-road bicycle routes.
The cyclist, with a medium-high status, usually choose hotels or rural houses with all the comforts. In addition, these people prepare the route thoroughly before carrying it out.
The study clarifies that cyclists especially appreciate the safety and continuity of the routes; existence of pleasant natural spaces and existence of peaceful villages for bicycles; signage and clear and pleasant interpretive information. The province, in this sense, has an ideal offer for the realization of this type of tourism.
Regarding signaling, Prodestur continues to improve the infrastructure. This year will complete the road signs of the Camino de Santiago, the Camino de San Frutos was marked in its day, and little by little it will be signaling each route in a clear and simple way.
The study concludes that bicycle touring, for example, helps reduce seasonality: in countries with a warmer climate, as is the case in Spain, the use of cycle routes is distributed throughout the year in a more proportionate manner. Rather it may happen that summer becomes the "off season" on certain routes that withstand high summer temperatures.
The project will involve a common effort between public and private institutions in the area, which are committed to specialization and generation of their own cycling products.