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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1942/22808

Title: Cycling Tourism for Elderly: Features and Opportunities
Authors: Cops, Veerle
Hermans, Elke
Issue Date: 2016
Citation: ATLAS Annual Conference 2016: Abstract Book,p. 65-66
Abstract: The current generation of baby boomers is often characterised by a good health and economic wealth, and has time available. As a result, an increase of elderly tourists can be noted. Naturally, their physical and mental health is determinative for their practical holiday needs. Additionally, they may have specific expectations towards their transport modes, tourism activities and experience, as well as hospitality services. This study focuses on cycling tourism by elderly in Limburg, the province in the north-east of Belgium. It is a green, rural area with the cycling network as its most distinctive tourism attraction. In this province, more than 2 decades ago, a network of recreational cycling routes connected by junctions was invented and introduced, providing a user-friendly way to create customised cycling trips throughout the province. Later, this junction network was copied in several other regions. As a pioneer, Limburg keeps on investing in high-quality cycling tourism services and positive cycling experiences geared towards the target groups. Couples, travelling without children, are the main target group for the cycling tourism in Limburg and many of these couples are elderly, statistically divided into the age categories 50-64 years and 65+ years. Examples of cycling related products are a comprehensive signage; road maps and apps; bicycle rentals including electric bikes and bikes to cycle with a disabled person; charging points for electric bikes; pubs and lodging accommodation with specific services for cyclists; etc. Based on an international literature review and an extensive visitors survey in Limburg this study identifies the features of a successful (recreational) cycling holiday destination for elderly. Focus does not lie on health or medical tourism for elderly, but on elderly who are able to travel autonomously and are looking for a rather active but recreational holiday, including (but not necessarily restricted to only) cycling. Based on the visitors survey we gain insight in the characteristics of elderly cycling in Limburg. Apart from the profile of this group, the features of their stay provide interesting information, such as the length of stay, type of lodging accommodation, their travelling companions, the activities undertaken, their spending behaviour, their level of satisfaction, etc. More generally, the key success factors in attracting elderly cycling tourists will be analysed and the opportunities, barriers and challenges related to this target group identified.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1942/22808
Category: C2
Type: Proceedings Paper
Appears in Collections: Research publications

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