Talking about Low Touch Economy means taking into account a world that is changing with new habits and regulations based on fewer close interactions and tighter restrictions on travel and hygiene.
Cycling tourism seems to be well-positioned concerning the watchwords of this new economic model: safety, health, distancing and short-range. In addition, cycling represents one of the most innovative and interesting expressions of the changes taking place in tourism as well as offering a concrete opportunity for many destinations to regenerate their accommodation offer.
It is therefore not surprising in this sense to witness the birth of realities such as the Association Osservatorio Bikeconomy that has as its focus the monitoring of best practices in the fields of cycling and sustainable mobility, a sector to which the Recovery Fund has allocated EUR 32 billion.
Travelling by bike
Cycling tourism is experiencing an expansion phase in Italy, as underlined by the second report on cycling, entitled “Travelling by bike” prepared by Isnart and Legambiente, which shows that only in the last year the turnover connected to the sale of packages for cyclists has recorded an average increase of about 30%. Cycling has been the only area of the tourism sector that has partly sustained the blow of the pandemic, combining technology, local networks and seasonally adjusted tourism to become an opportunity for the territories.
The choices of Italians
The Italians who took holidays between July and September in 2020 were just over 27 million, about 20% less than for the same period of 2019. Of these, almost all (96%) turned exclusively to Italian destinations, which saw their visitors jump by almost 5% compared to the previous summer. According to the Isnart surveys, sample phone calls made on accommodation companies and Italian and foreign tourists, 4.7 million Italians have used a bicycle during their holidays, equal to 17% of tourists, spending a total of 4.1 billion.
The most popular sports
Among the most sports during the summer holidays, we find trekking (39%) and cycling in its various forms (31%, with an incidence of 76% for Mtb, 15% for eBikes and 9% for racing bikes).
The objective of “practising sport” (32%) has gained the same importance as the traditional reasons for taking a holiday in Italy. Moreover, according to the results of the survey by Italian Tour operators specialising in bike tourism, 40% of the requests concern road cycling, while 34% are aimed at eBikes. The choice of the electric bicycle as a travel companion is part of the revolution that has made travelling on two wheels an attractive option and consequently has sanctioned its growth.