The pandemic triggered irreversible changes in the lives of each of us, which had important consequences on the entire economic fabric too. In the tourism sector, these changes were identified with the amplification of some trends already in place.
The Veneto Tourism Strategic Plan 2018-2020 anticipated this new scenario, foreseeing an increasing interest from the public towards “slow & green” tourism products, for a tourism that is more responsible in fruition and more sustainable in the proposal.
Among the various actions taken to implement the Regional Strategic Plan (STP), the project “Cycling in the Land of Venice” included the development and promotion of cycling tourism as one of the offerings that most respects the environment and the rural landscape.
For the first time, the Product Clubs of Cycling Tourism in Veneto sat at the same table, albeit virtual, with the aim of sharing a “Carta dei Servizi per il Turismo in Bicicletta” (Service Charter for Bicycle Tourism).
Bicycle tourism is a segment with specific needs, some of which differ according to the niches in question: Leisure, Mountain Bike and Road. The task of operators is to guarantee standards for reception and for the services required by the market. The lack of standards’ homogeneity in the region has led to a fragmentation of the offer and, therefore, a less competitive positioning compared to the national, European and international panorama.
Thanks to the project “Cycling in the Land of Venice” it was possible to build coordination tables in which a working methodology was shared with the Product Clubs.
Qualitative analysis through online questionnaires and audits in the field allowed to identify the state of the art of the cycling tourism’s offer in Veneto. On this basis, a comparison was made with regard to tourist destinations organized for bicycle tourism at the European level (e.g., Bavaria, Loire, Alto Adige).
Following this comparison and reflecting on the gaps between the regional offering and the European one, the “Service Charter for Bicycle Tourism” was born. This document defines common quality standards for the entire region, and is therefore proposed as a point of reference for tourism operators wishing to address the bike segments. The application of these requirements makes the quality of the offer homogeneous, thus strengthening its positioning.
Within the project, Etifor played the role of technical consultant for the coordination of Product Clubs. In addition, the company was responsible for the drafting, administration and analysis of the questionnaires addressed to the Clubs. At the same time, field audits were organized with experts Robert Seppi and Martina Kiderle, aimed at identifying the strengths and weaknesses of the regional cycling system. Finally, after benchmarking with some European case studies, Etifor worked on the drafting of the “Carta dei Servizi per il Turismo in Bicicletta Service”.
This document analyzes quality requirements, grouping them into eight themes. The standards concerns not only to accommodation facilities, but also other operators in the chain, such as catering companies, rentals, service and repair centers, IAT and infopoints, sites of interest, travel agencies and tour operators, and transport services.