Will there be such a thing as tourism without the bike?
Family accommodation rentals in Split-Dalmatia County have been monitoring global trends of active holidays and cycling tourism, and many renters have already implemented these trends into their accommodation offers for this summer, reports Slobodna Dalmacija on February 20, 2017.
In 2017, around 200 tourist facilities in central Dalmatia should have a label welcoming cyclists as guests. And it’s no surprise as to why, considering there are around 20 million recreational and sports cyclists within Europe. Without great effort, family accommodation renters are now choosing to turn their apartments into “Bed & Bike” destinations.
Under this type of accommodation, renters must be ready to host and provide a specific service to cyclists while taking care of their bikes or providing them with rentals. In addition, Bike & Bed accommodations must also offer ancillary services cyclists may need, including local bike-guides (which foreign agencies are increasingly looking for).
Investing in cycling tourism as a renter, more often than not, puts you in the positive by the end of the tourist season. And when you calculate the costs, you can rent out bicycles for around 90 – 140 kuna a day depending on your tourist offer and other services you provide. When doing the math, with a dozen bike rentals you can earn up to 2,000 a day! And just to look at the tourism numbers again, Germany alone has as many as two million tourists who travel abroad as cyclists, and 5.7 million Germans traveled with their bike once in the past three years….
Because renters in central Dalmatia want to welcome the possibility with open arms, it’s no surprise that hundreds of renters have applied to accommodate cyclists to the Tourist Board of Split-Dalmatia County, and the number of those who apply every day is surely growing.
It’s also not surprising that cycle tourism in the region has boomed considering there are four thousand kilometers of bike trails that are jointly traced and marked by the Tourist Board of Split-Dalmatia County and the Cycling Federation of the County, in cooperation and consultation with local authorities and local tourist offices.
Thus, central Dalmatia is the first in Croatia to have a model of marked trails maintained by the local government and marked by the local tourist boards with promotional materials, training, and all promotional activity for their placement on the market.
In the past few years, 140 paths have been marked along the Makarska Riviera, over Brač, Hvar, Zagora and along the Split Riviera. Currently, around 100 cyclists can stay in the 50 Bed & Bike facilities in the county, which by the end of the year should reach 200.
“We aim to be the most developed cyclotourist region in the country. Investments for property managers and hotels for customization for cycle tourists are not large, but it is important to have a safe room to accommodate bicycles as guests arrive with their bikes that are several thousand euros which can’t just be left anywhere. Bikes must be kept on bicycle racks, they must have basic tools and equipment, a shop with spare parts in the region who can service them in case it is needed,” says Joško Stella, director of the Tourist Board of Split-Dalmatia County.
Cycling tourism brings in guests in areas far from the sea as well, which is shown in the example of Podgora where there are 40 renters from Podgora Sela – an old village below Velebit that has 30 villas with pools for rent – who have done training to become cycling hosts.