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We wanted to organize a fair; a party came out of it.

This, beyond the numbers, is the first assessment we feel to make of the second edition of the Cycle Tourism Show that has just ended in Bologna.

It’s probably an inevitable side effect when you madly love what you do: that all your passion energy flows into the end result, giving it shape, energy and substance. We, our 90 exhibitors and the 19,000 visitors who joined in the three-day forum and exhibition.

cycling show Davide Cassani Pinar Pinzuti Mattia Santori

We wanted the Cycle Toursim Show to be more than just a commercial exhibition but also an experience and sharing. That’s why we organized two stages that, uninterruptedly, offered performances, workshops, presentations and travel stories aimed at raising travel fever and curiosity about all that pedal-powered two-wheelers represent.

Bikeitalia Talks Omar Gatti at the Cycle Tourism Show

The city of Bologna proved to be the perfect location, in terms of culture and geographic location, for the event organization and location, Dumbo, it was the perfect container to informally but effectively present the tourism offerings of territories and tour operators, a few bike and component manufacturers that we have carefully selected to avoid becoming yet another bike fair that tastes of everything and knows of nothing.

When we had announced the dates and the new location many people told us that moving from Bologna meant moving from a national to a local dimension, but the numbers proved us right: not only because the number of visitors grew by 30 percent compared to the previous year, but also because we involved more people from far away: if in 2022 visitors from the region (Lombardy) were 55 percent, in 2023 visitors from the region (Emilia Romagna) were 45 percent, and we were happy to welcome that (small, but promising) 5 percent from abroad.

The challenge this year was very ambitious: organizing a fair in a non-fair space requires a lot of energy and attention because we had to adapt warehouses designed for train maintenance into an exhibition venue. Even more so because we had very little time to familiarize ourselves with the spaces and to constantly relaunch by adding details to welcome and entertain the audience.

The compliments we received and the enthusiasm of the exhibitors proved us right, as did the copious press coverage and the use of the temporary bicycle parking lot that we set up with the support of Shimano Italia and that earned the opening of the Rainews24 report.

We saw people laughing and dancing to the notes of Roy Paci’s concert that concluded Saturday night, and if not for the cold and rainy weather on Sunday, we are convinced that we could have gotten even more participation.

We are also pleased with the opening day on Friday, March 31, when data from the third ISNART-Legambiente report on the economics of bicycle tourism were presented as part of the B2B-focused Bicycle Tourism Forum and provided an opportunity for intense business networking activities under the auspices of the Adventure Travel and Trade Association.

Once the adrenaline has subsided, now it’s time for rest and thanks, which, in addition to the entire Bikenomist team that demonstrated teamwork and self-sacrifice, go to the Municipality of Bologna and the Metropolitan City, the Bologna and Modena tourist destination that immediately recognized the value of the initiative and treated us as partners. Special thanks go to the Sicilian Region which, in addition to being main sponsor, supported us in organizing the Roy Paci concert and the kids area where 400 children participated in a program of motor education and bicycle use. Thank you to Gran Canaria for the entertainment on the Central Binario stage, and thank you to all those who trusted us and have already confirmed that they will be there again next year, either as exhibitors or visitors.

Read also: Traveling by bike is for everyone: the Bicycle Tourism Fair confirms it

The appointment is for the third edition of the Cycle Tourism Show to be held again in Bologna on March 22, 23 and 24, 2024. For registration and reservations: [email protected]

Paolo Pinzuti

Cycling Executive Officer

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