The Christmas decorations were up in the city of Timișoara, which hosted the EuroVelo Conference Romania. Organised by Timis County Council as part of Velo Timis strategy for promoting and developing cycling routes, the meeting, the first of its kind to be held in the country, brought together representatives of the Ministries of the Interior, Economy, Environment and Transport, as well as many of the counties located along the routes of EuroVelo 6 – Atlantic-Black Sea and EuroVelo 13 – Iron Curtain Trail. Alongside the political representatives were European Cyclists’ Federation (ECF)’s Romanian members: Romanian Cyclists’ Federation and Green Revolution, who shared their experiences in promoting cycling and gave recommendations for how to move forward.
The key outcome of the meeting was the signing of a joint declaration by over 40 organisations to support cycling tourism and the development of cycling routes, which included the commitment to create a working group to lead to the development and promotion of the EuroVelo routes and cycling tourism in Romania.
- "Today was an important first step that will have a significant impact on the process of developing EuroVelo cycle routes in Romania. By signing the Timișoara Declaration, the most important entities for the development of cycling routes in Romania have agreed to be involved in creating a working group on the national level for the development and promotion of EuroVelo 6 and EuroVelo 13.” said the vice president of Timis County Council, Cristian Moş.
ECF’s EuroVelo Director, Ed Lancaster, and EuroVelo and Projects Officer, Marta Orihuel, also participated in the conference. They introduced the EuroVelo network and presented recent trends in cycling tourism and the investments needed to make successful cycle routes. They also explained how the EuroVelo network is managed and different governance models for NECCs elsewhere in Europe.
- “We think Romania has tremendous potential as a cycling tourism destination, particularly as it marks the eastern end of one of our most popular routes, EuroVelo 6 – Atlantic-Black Sea. ” Lancaster commented. “ECF therefore welcomes the lead taken by Timis County Council in organising this event and strongly encourages the creation of a National EuroVelo Coordination Centre for Romania to oversee the development of cycling routes for the benefit of tourists and local communities alike.”
- "Local tourism and the promotion of cycling are two directions that I encourage and around which I intend to build more projects in the coming years. I support slow and sustainable tourism, for the preservation and promotion of local traditions and values, which would allow the development of more remote or less visited areas. Cycling and the use of bicycles as a means of transport can be an important part of the tourism development strategy, so we have taken important steps to implement a policy to support the two-wheels, said Alin Nica, president of the Timiș County Council.
Timis County Council wants to create a network of cycle routes that will connect to EuroVelo 13 – Iron Curtain Trail and some of the area's less visited corners. Want to know more about the natural and cultural attractions to be discovered by bike in this Romanian city and its surroundings? You can read about the Timisoara – Serbian Cycle Route in this article published earlier this year on EuroVelo.com.