Bike tourism is a trend that has been characterised by clear upward tendency around the world for many years.
It has been developed for many years in Germany, and it results in an extensive bike infrastructure, the availability of information, as well as the organisation of traffic taking into account the needs of bike tourism. Therefore, it is not surprising that its popularisation also takes place in Poland. The growing popularity of bikes is affected by ecology, trends, economy, traffic congestion, as well as the increasing ecological awareness of global problems, dependence on oil, climate change and air pollution. Road transport is responsible for 25% of the global emissions of the main greenhouse gas – CO2. Therefore, it is essential to create an alternative solution to automotive communication.
In order to achieve the assumed objectives, it is necessary to diagnose the tourism infrastructure in terms of international bike traffic.
By drawing up inventory of the existing and planned state, as well as creating a concept for the course of bike paths on the Polish side, with its obligatory inclusion in the existing network of bike paths on the German side, and using the results of implementation of the Tourism Association’s own project (objective of this project: promotion of tourism), it has been planned to create and then implement the model of tourism offer for our region, with the use of modern technologies.
Creation of a recognisable tourism brand in the supported area, achieved through construction of a tourism information system, is beneficial for the development of bike infrastructure on the Polish-German border, as well as the designation of a network of bike tourism routes, based on the existing infrastructure, which is at the disposal of the local government units (municipalities, counties, provinces, German lands), the State Treasury, the Regional Directorate of State Forests and the Tourism Association Oder-Spree e. V. from Bad Saarow.
Therefore, it is justified to implement activities aimed at improving attractiveness of the cross-border natural and cultural heritage through:
- development and preservation of the tourism, natural and cultural heritage in the supported area
- increase in the tourism attractiveness of the borderland
- development of cooperation between Polish and German communities, as well as institutions.
In order to achieve the above-mentioned objective, it is necessary to undertake actions relevant for the places, in which bike tourism is located in individual countries. In the scope of Polish side, it is necessary to coordinate and intensify the activities aimed at the development of bike traffic. In the scope of German side, the most important thing is to prepare a comprehensive offer supporting bike transport, by joint promotion of this form of tourism.
Although the bike tourism and recreation in the Polish-German borderland has been developing very dynamically for many years now, the development of the bike communication system has been implemented to a limited extent so far. A major obstacle in the scope of development of the bike path network, and thus the access to a very large number of tourism offers, is the lack of a dedicated planning system, as well as procedural and administrative solutions that would secure the appropriate design practices and the cooperation of partners implementing the investments. The preparation of a joint tourism offer with the use of modern technologies (multimedia devices and applications) will be conducive to the above-mentioned development.
Within the Lubusz Province, the bike infrastructure of a communication nature (bike paths and junctions) is created in a fragmented manner, usually in the cities. There are no bike paths or trails connecting the supported area, which contributes to the high number of accidents involving the cyclists. Moreover, the lack of consistent information and tourism offer in the borderland limits the sustainable development and the inflow of tourists.
The Oder-Spree Lakeland constitutes one of five certified regions of bike tourism (RadReiseRegionen) in Germany. Due to the creation of bike routes, we protect the natural environment, and thanks to cycling, we do not use fossil fuels, we do not pollute the air and the existing road infrastructure is not used up.