On 22 April 2021, the international conference «MoVe the Alps» on cycling tourism in the Alpine region took place. Over 300 participants from various European countries joined in and discussed how to promote sustainable cycling tourism in the future. MoVe the Alps was the first major event in the context of the Swiss Presidency of the Alpine Convention 2021-2022.
Greetings from Innsbruck and Vienna
The Alpine Convention was also the topic of the welcome message by Marianna Elmi, Deputy Secretary General of the Permanent Secretariat of the Alpine Convention in Innsbruck. She gave the participants an overview of the activities and events that have been carried out in recent years within the framework of the Alpine Convention on the subject of Alpine tourism. Then Austria's Federal Minister for Climate Protection, Leonore Gewessler, welcomed all the attendees. In her video message, she highlighted the many uses of the bicycle in everyday life and leisure and pointed out the increased promotion of cycling in Austria.
A sense of departure and good examples
Frank Hofmann, Federal Executive of the German Cyclists' Federation (ADFC) and Giuseppe Dimunno, EuroVelo Coordinator of the Italian Environment and Bicycle Federation (FIAB) kicked off the conference, each giving an update on the situation and developments at national level in their countries. The second block focused on the international as well as the cantonal level. Ed Lancaster, Director of EuroVelo, presented arguments for a better integration of cycling into the Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T). Renato Fasciati, Director of the Rhaetian Railway, then presented the successful tourist product «Bike & Ride» of the Canton of Graubünden.
The afternoon started with two parallel workshops. In four short input presentations, Isidoro de Bortoli (Eurac Research), Alberto Dianin (Eurac Research), Anna Scuttari (Munich University of Applied Sciences) and Patrick Kofler (Helios Research) showed which opportunities arise from the growing popularity of e-bikes for destinations and what needs to be considered. The topic of the second workshop was the commercialisation of cycle tourism. Günther Lämmerer (Eurotrek), Jan Klavora (Visit Goodplace) and Alain Imboden (HES-SO) discussed how bike tourism in the Alpine region can be promoted sustainably in the future.
The last block of the conference began with a presentation by Lukas Stadtherr, Member of the Executive Board of SwitzerlandMobility, in which he showed how SwitzerlandMobility brings together the different elements that are important for cycle tourism. Markus Dittli, Head of Digital Platforms at Switzerland Tourism, then spoke about the opportunities and possibilities of digitalisation for cycle tourism. The conference was concluded by Hugo Götsch, President of the South Tyrol Cycling Association. He presented how South Tyrol is positioning itself as a cycling destination and which elements contribute to its success.