19,000 attended the 2nd edition in Bologna, 30 percent more than the first edition.

The industry growth data presented by Isnart during the show confirms a growing interest in bicycle travel and a response by territories to offer routes, opportunities and services tailored to bicycle tourists.

There is a growing desire for cycling tourism in our country, as evidenced by the numbers of the second edition of the Cycle Tourism Show, organized by Bikenomist, which just ended in Bologna and recorded 19,000 attendees, thus a 30 percent growth over the previous year’s Milan edition. The attendance figures come as further confirmation of the 3rd Isnart-Legambiente report presented on the opening day dedicated to operators from which it emerges bicycle travelers in Italy in 2022 have doubled compared to 2019 reaching 9 million presences generating an economic impact estimated at more than 1 billion euros.

cycle tourism show bologna

The Cycle Tourism Show this year quintupled the usable area, which was occupied by 90 exhibitors in 60 booths of tourism boards, tour operators, hoteliers and bike renters, registering a sell-out in just a few months, especially the presence of many Italian regions absent last year and a significant increase in foreign destinations, which demonstrates the increased credibility of the event.

cycling tourism show 2023 bologna

The director of the Cycling Fair, Pinar Pinzuti commented, “Aiming at Bologna was the right choice: not only for its geographic centrality, but also for the attention that the city and the region are showing towards active mobility. Particularly flattering was the attention of national operators and business networks that projected the event on an international dimension.”

Also stormed was the temporary bike parking lot installed, made with technical partner Shimano Italia, at the entrance to the Cycling Fair where more than 1,800 bicycles found shelter over the course of the 2-day event. While in the kids area, about 300 children took part in motor education programs and introduction to safe cycling, thanks to the involvement of Eden Asd and Fiab Bologna, with the support of Regione Siciliana.

The packed program of talks that took turns on the Bikeitalia Talks stage entertained the large audience by offering suggestions on destinations to ride, but also on how to choose the right saddle for traveling, ways to optimize your riding position, and mechanical tricks for never being stranded. Speakers included not only the hosts, Mattia Santori, President, Territorio Turistico Bologna-Modena, and Davide Cassani, President, Apt Servizi Emilia Romagna, but also bicycle travelers of appeal to the two-wheeled populace such as the holder of four Guinness World Records, Paola Gianotti, ultracyclist Omar Di Felice, who arrived at the event by bicycle after a long non-stop ride from Rome, and veteran bicycle traveler Sergio Borroni, who received a standing ovation. The icing on the cake was the concert by Roy Paci, organized by the Sicilian Region, entertained the audience of the Bicycle Fair closing the first day of the event.

cycle tourism show bologna

Participating tour operators are very positive about the prospects for further growth in the bicycle tourism market by 2023, confirming the data found in the “Traveling by Bike 2023” report: as many as 90 percent of specialized tour operators expect their business to increase. These are the same operators who, on average, have seen their revenues grow to nearly triple in the last three years, in part by taking advantage of the investments initiated in past years by the government and regions to develop the National Network of Tourist Cycle Routes.

Mattia Santori, president of Destinazione Turistica Bologna e Modena said, “Active tourism is one of the central points of our tourism strategy for 2023, which promises to be a record year. The cycling tourism fair fits perfectly into this framework and we are proud and grateful to be able to host it in the city, also in light of the remarkable and not expected participation.”

fiera del cicloturismo

Simona Larghetti, Bologna Metropolitan Councilwoman with responsibility for Cycling Mobility, commented, “Bologna at the center of the new world movement of active travel, the one where with your legs you can get everywhere. I believe that the thousands of people who came to Bologna over these two days have made this dream with us, to be able to travel savoring every km. Cycle tourism is now a necessary ingredient to imagine a sustainable future for our territories. We hope to host the fair again in 2024.”

Ermanno Cacciatore, manager of the Sicilian Region’s Tourism Department: “An incredible visibility opportunity for Sicily’s potential as a cycling tourism destination. We created an ad hoc product to tell the story of the island’s routes. The operators present were enthusiastic about the preparation of the public.”

In fact, Silvia Donatiello, Turismo Gran Canaria, says, “In our second edition as the event’s foreign main sponsor, we are extremely pleased with the turnout and the quality of the audience, as well as the visibility our destination has had. With unprecedented numbers of cycle tourists on the island in this year’s progressive with compared to the same months in 2022, we can certainly say that Italy is a key outdoor market for us.”

Francesco Tapinassi director of the Tuscany Region Promotion Agency, on his first experience at the cycling tourism fair said, “I am very pleased with our participation and turnout, and we believe it is the beginning of a long and fruitful collaboration.”

Marta Teixidor of Turisme of Catalonia says, “The second edition of the Bicycle Tourism Fair showed that it is a fast-growing sector. Lots of interested and interesting people, Bologna is a great place. Cyclotourism, for us in Catalonia, is a cross-cultural product that can be done all year round. That’s how we showed it to bike lovers. Great fair, unthinkable not to be there next year.”

We conclude with Alberto Tersini Mazzini, Marche Region: “The Bicycle Tourism Fair was an extraordinarily successful opportunity for the regions and operators. Surely next year the region will participate even more importantly. A big thank you to the organizers.”

With the doors of the Cycle Tourism Fair closed, the organizers report the continuation of work with the appointment “I Cantieri delle Ciclovie” which will also be held in Bologna on Tuesday, April 4, in collaboration with Legambiente and AMODO and under the patronage of the metropolitan city of Bologna. On this occasion, the progress of work on the cycle routes planned by the National System of Tourist Cycle Routes and funded by the NRP will be put under the magnifying glass.

ADDITIONAL ELEMENTS

As a reminder, this year’s Cycle Tourism Fair was preceded by the Cycle Tourism Forum and networking among operators on Friday, March 31, which gave rise to a moment of discussion and reflection on a market that can no longer be considered niche and that attracts people between the ages of 28 and 57, in 71 percent of cases, to which is added an interesting share of baby boomers (17.3 percent are between 58 and 72 years old), characterized by a greater spending capacity than younger people.

cycle tourism show bologna

Despite the growth in the use of the Web to tap into information before a trip, the bicycle tourist still turns to traditional operators and events such as the Fair for material, inspiration, and to know the latest news at a rate of 56 percent. On the other hand, the web is used by 65 percent of bike tourists (compared to 36.8 percent of the average tourist) who use social media to share travel impressions, photos and reviews of places visited and services used with the “biker community.”

The Cycle Tourism Forum was also an opportunity to present the report, “Traveling by Bike 2023,” in which Isnart and Legambiente aimed to indicate some policy priorities to support the further development of cycling tourism in the country and increase its visibility and attractiveness in international markets. (press release)

The Cycle Tourism Forum and the Cycle Tourism Fair were organized by Bikenomist under the patronage of the Emilia Romagna Region, Metropolitan City of Bologna, Municipality of Bologna, EuroVelo, Fiab- Italian Federation for Environment and Bicycle, Legambiente, ActiveItaly.

Main Sponsors: Gran Canaria, Sicilian Region

Media partner: Bikeitalia

Media partner and official carrier: Trenitalia Tper

Technical partner: Shimano

Comfort partner: Selle SMP