The Baltic Sea Region boasts a rich tapestry of landscapes, cultures, and history, making it an ideal destination for cycling enthusiasts. Recognising the potential of cycling tourism, various partners from the Baltic Sea Region have strategically aligned their efforts, supported by the EUSBSR Policy Area Tourism coordinators. Two noteworthy projects, "Bike across the Baltic - Improving Bicycle Tourism around the Baltic Sea" (BAB) and "Baltic Biking Upgrade" (BBU), funded by Interreg Baltic Sea Region Programme and Interreg South Baltic Programme, respectively, are actively contributing to the development and enhancement of cycling tourism in the region. Get to know them better!

Bike across the Baltic (BAB) - Enhancing EuroVelo 10:

The Biking Across Baltic (BAB) project is a collaborative effort to develop the EuroVelo 10 cycling route, which spans all nine countries surrounding the Baltic Sea. Despite the growing interest in sustainable and active travel, the project partners identified untapped potential along the EuroVelo 10 route. Uneven development and fragmented routes hindered the seamless connectivity for cyclists, hindering the growth of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) involved in cycle tourism.

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To address these challenges, BAB focuses on five key actions:

  1. Benchmarking of Cycle Tourism and Intermodal Transport Initiatives: Evaluating existing initiatives to identify best practices.
  2. Route Assessment and Description Development: Enhancing route infrastructure and creating comprehensive route descriptions.
  3. Capacity Development and Peer Learning Activities: Strengthening organisational capacities of public authorities to facilitate trans-Baltic cooperation.
  4. Knowledge Transfer: Sharing insights and expertise fosters stakeholder collaboration.
  5. Improving Communication: Enhancing communication to both local citizens and visitors, creating awareness and promoting the benefits of cycling tourism.

The Bike across the Baltic (BAB) project boasts a collaborative effort with key partners: Turku University of Applied Sciences as the lead, alongside the Swedish Cycling Advocacy Organisation, Pomorskie Tourist Board (PAC Tourism) from Poland, The Finnish Center for Cycling Tourism, CityBike Ltd from Tallinn, Estonia, and Visit Turku Archipelago Ltd. Each partner brings unique expertise, from academic leadership to regional tourism promotion, collectively working to enhance the EuroVelo 10 cycling route around the Baltic Sea. Together, they aim to create a more seamless, attractive, and sustainable cycling experience for enthusiasts across the region.

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Baltic Biking Upgrade (BBU) - Empowering SMEs:

BBU, a project co-funded by Interreg South Baltic, focuses on the southern part of the EuroVelo 10 – Baltic Sea Cycle Route. The project, running from 2023 to 2026, aims to support SMEs by providing them with the tools and resources needed to tap into the potential of the cycling route.

Key components of the BBU project include:

  1. Training for SMEs: Offering dedicated training sessions on creating appealing offers targeting an international audience.
  2. Guidelines on Starting: Providing guidelines for SMEs to connect their offerings with the EuroVelo 10 route and effectively market them to potential customers.
  3. Marketing Campaigns: Implementing dedicated campaigns to market the new cycling tourism offers.
  4. Invitation to Join the EuroVelo 10 Network: Encouraging SMEs to become part of the EuroVelo 10 network in the South Baltic Area, fostering collaboration and strengthening the business network.
  5. Transnational Cooperation: Facilitating closer cooperation among project partners to strengthen the development and management of the EuroVelo 10 route.

Project Partners and Associated Partners:

The BBU project involves a consortium of nine partners, including the Pomorskie Tourist Board, West Pomerania Regional Tourism Organisation, Visit Lolland-Falster, Danish Cycling Tourism, Klaipeda Region Association, Region Blekinge, Swedish Cycling Advocacy Organisation, City of Barth, and the European Cyclists’ Federation. Additionally, several associated partners contribute to the project's success, representing various regions, tourism boards, and cycling organizations across the Baltic Sea Region.

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The EU's strategic focus on cycling tourism in the Baltic Sea Region, as manifested through the EUSBSR, combined with the practical efforts of projects like BAB and BBU, fosters sustainable and active travel growth. By addressing challenges, enhancing infrastructure, and empowering SMEs, these projects contribute to the flourishing of cycling tourism and the broader goals of regional connectivity, accessibility, and transnational cooperation. As these initiatives progress, the Baltic Sea Region is poised to become a premier destination for cycling enthusiasts seeking unforgettable experiences amid the region's breathtaking landscapes and cultural richness.

Fantastic news for cycling enthusiasts and stakeholders interested in boosting cycling tourism in the Baltic Sea Region! 

Policy Area Tourism Coordinators are organising a thematic webinar scheduled for the end of March 2024, which promises to be an insightful and engaging online event. Including experts, practitioners, and representatives from the Baltic Biking Upgrade (BBU) and Bike across the Baltic (BAB) projects ensures a well-rounded perspective on the current initiatives and future prospects for cycling tourism in the region.  More info will follow soon!