In the city of Izmir ( called also the Perls of Aegean) Turkey, from October 11-13, 2023, cycling enthusiasts and industry experts from around the world gathered for a groundbreaking event – the EuroVelo & Cycling Tourism Conference 2023. This year, the conference, held under the theme “Cycling: a New Perspective on Heritage,” became a pivotal moment in the world of cycling tourism, and a shining star at the forefront of this event was the esteemed company, Bikenomist.
With lively discussions, exciting announcements, and passionate commitments, the conference provided an inspiring platform and a cause for celebration for the future of cycling tourism. The event was graciously opened by key local and national Turkish representatives, including Mehmet Nuri Ersoy, the Minister of Culture and Tourism of the Republic of Türkiye; Tunç Soyer, the Mayor of Izmir Metropolitan Municipality; and Süleyman Elban, the Governor of Izmir, setting an enthusiastic tone for the days to come.
One of the key figures who illuminated the conference with her insights and expertise was Pinar Pinzuti from Bikenomist. As a dedicated member of the EuroVelo Council, Pinar was deeply involved in the conference program committee. Her contributions ranged from the selection of abstracts to defining panel sessions and moderating discussions related to cycling’s role in heritage protection. Pinar, also the director of the Cycle Tourism Show in Bologna, took the stage as a keynote speaker alongside journalist Alex Crevar from the USA.
During her address, Pinar focused on the community’s crucial role in cycling advocacy, highlighting initiatives such as the Fancy Women Bike Ride, which originated in Izmir in 2013 and rapidly expanded to 30 countries. She emphasized the significance of establishing networks of routes and services and stressed the importance of collaboration between public and private entities to develop cycling tourism in economically underdeveloped regions. Drawing from her experience, Pinar presented compelling case studies showcasing successful collaborations that facilitated the creation of diverse cycling holiday packages catering to a wide range of enthusiasts.
Pinar’s vision for Turkiye as a cycling tourism destination was particularly inspiring. With over 500 km of EuroVelo routes fully developed in the country, she underscored the need for a collective effort to expand the route network nationally, fostering connections between people and places.
The conference reached its peak with a thrilling announcement by Jesper Pørksen from Dansk Cykelturisme, Chair of the EuroVelo Council, and Michael Andersen, a representative of Viborg. They revealed that Viborg, Denmark, would be the host city for the EuroVelo & Cycling Tourism Conference 2024. This revelation filled the attendees with anticipation, promising another year of groundbreaking discussions and initiatives to further elevate the world of cycling tourism.
Bikenomist’s active participation and Pinar Pinzuti’s invaluable contributions illuminated the EuroVelo & Cycling Tourism Conference 2023, making it a resounding success. As the cycling tourism community looks forward to the future, these moments of collaboration and inspiration will undoubtedly continue to shape the landscape of cycling tourism, paving the way for sustainable, enriching, and inclusive experiences for cyclists and enthusiasts worldwide.