Considerable economic effects from recreational cycling
Annually over 50 per cent of the Dutch population (which means over 8.5 million people) make a recreational cycling trip. This results in over 200 million cycling trips of one hour or more and approximately 750 million Euro in expenses en route, reports Stichting Landelijk Fietsplatform.
These expenses have grown considerably, per trip on average by 34 per cent in comparison to 2002. The number of overnight cycling trips has increased as well. In 2008 over 1 million holidays were spent cycling, approximately 450,000 of which on the basis of the LF network. Fietsplatform sees opportunities for a further increase in recreational cycling and cycling holidays in the Netherlands, among other things by stimulating incoming cycle tourism.
According to Fietsplatform chairman Jan Dijkema this depends however on a continued investment in recreational cycling opportunities and further strengthening of the co-operation in marketing and information. Recreational bicycle facilities deserve generous attention due to its social importance, according to the platform. After all, these increase quality of life in an area and stimulate bicycle use, leading to positive results on public health (activity standards, relaxation by exertion) and the environment. ‘But above all else, recreational cycling facilities provide a strong economic stimulus.’
Annually cyclists spend some 750 million Euro on cycling trips, particularly on food, drink and lodging. The cycling industry cashes in as well. Annually an estimated 450 million Euro are spend for recreational purposes on bicycles and cycling accessories. Remarkable in this respect is the advance of electrically-assisted bicycles - allowing the elderly to continue to enjoy cycling.