Cycling routes are a great example of sustainable, environmentally friendly tourism. From 2009 to 2011, the European Commission awarded a series of grants to selected projects that support the development and promotion of cycling routes throughout Europe.
In 2009, the Commission organised activities to raise awareness about the ‘Iron Curtain Trail’, a 6 800 km cycling trail that follows the old ‘Iron Curtain’ border stretching from the Barents Sea to the Black Sea. The activities highlighted the route’s impact on regional economic development and its contribution to sustainable tourism.
In 2010, the Commission awarded grants to six projects to improve the sustainability and competitiveness of European cycling tourism.
In 2011, the Commission supported the development of EuroVelo.com. EuroVelo is a network of 14 long distance routes managed by the European Cyclists’ Federation. It contributes to the promotion and development of more sustainable and responsible cycling tourism.
In 2013, the Commission awarded grants to 2 projects related to the EuroVelo cycle routes : EuroVelo 13 – Iron Curtain Trail and EuroVelo 8 – The Mediterranean route.
The study, ‘The European Cycle Route Network Eurovelo: Challenges and Opportunities for Sustainable Tourism (5 MB)’ evaluates developing a cycle tourism network across Europe. It also reviews the market for cycle tourism in general.