Forget apartment rental, the real money is in cyclotourism and formation of tourism offers for cyclists which number 20 million within the EU, with around 44 billion euro of spending money annually for trips. In comparison, this is more money than cruise lines makes on their routes. In only three years since the beginning of systematic shaping of the tourism offer for cyclists in Central Dalmatia, there are over a hundred people employed in the sector with an annual income of a million euro, Slobodna Dalmacija reported on December 20, 2016.
This data was disclosed at a cyclotourism presentation of Split-Dalmatia County organised by the County Tourism Board together with the Cycling Alliance of Central Dalmatia, with the goal of enticing stronger participation of tourism agencies and entrepreneurs in the fastest growing sector in European tourism.
“Cyclotourism in Split-Dalmatia County in which the public sector is the sole investor in infrastructure of over 3.5 thousand proper bike routes, while it is up to tourism agencies, renters, hotels and other businesses to make money on it. Cyclotourists are ideal guests who arrive in the off-season and make use of the entire offer of the destination,” said Joško Stella, director of the Split-Dalmatia County Tourism Board.
Proving the business potential is high are experiences of those who have already begun forming the tourism offer for cyclotourists in Split-Dalmatia County. A renter in Bol has 300 bikes available at 170 kuna per day and can gross 51.000 kuna per day just from that niche.
In the city of Split are 36 concessionaires for bike rentals, with an average price of 120 kuna per day. Around 500 bikes are rented daily through licensed agencies, grossing around 60.000 kuna per day. With the knowledge that Germany alone has two million cyclotourists and that Switzerland’s cycling tourism programmes bring in 5 million guests annually, it is clear many European countries have found a way to extend the season and make good money in this sector.
“According to data on cyclotourism in the EU, total benefits from the sector are around 155 billion euro per year, a third going directly to the tourism industry, the rest to bike repair, services, retail, guides and others in the service chain. Bike guides are currently among the most sought jobs and most of those who have passed the required education are already fully booked for 2017. There are currently 45 licensed guides in the County, with another 20 ready in the coming year,” said Denis Špadina, secretary of the Cycling Alliance of Split-Dalmatia County.
“Along with 97 marked and equipped cyclotourism routes of 3.5 thousand kilometres in length and licensed bike guides, 50 hotels and other accommodation providers in the County are registered as bike&bed services for cyclists. This means they have basic tools and parts, guarded bike spaces, bike racks outside their properties, information on nearby bike routes, repair and retail shops. At the same time within the County are 70 registered agencies for bike rentals and 10 specialised tourism agencies for cycling services,” it was mentioned at the presentation.
Development plans for cyclotourism in 2017 include another 1.5 thousand kilometres of bike routes, which will make Split-Dalmatia County the forerunner in Croatia in terms of bike routes, giving an opportunity to entrepreneurs to use these options on the market and create a profit.
Judging by the interest of agencies, renters, hotels and local administration for this story, it seems Split-Dalmatia County is on its way to income of 5 to 10 million euro in the next few years and employ around 200 persons in various jobs in the sector.
To learn more about cycling in Central Dalmatia, click here.