Local cycling tour operators, Signpost Cycling, represented the counties of Dorset and Devon to promote the UK section of the new European funded 1200km / 745 mile ‘Tour de Manche’ cycle route at the Fiets en Wandelbeurs (Biking and Hiking Fair) Holland’s largest cycling and walking consumer holiday show in Amsterdam.
The annual two day event has been running since 2005 and attracts around 25,000 visitors each year. The Dutch are Dorset’s biggest international visitor and are very keen on outdoor pursuits in particular cycling and walking routes.
Active promoters of cycling, Signpost Cycling were invited to work with Visit England, Normandy and Brittany tourism boards to help promote the Tour de Manche and cycling and walking in Dorset and Devon.
Signpost Principal Roy Griffiths said “We were pleased to be invited to represent the UK section of the Tour de Manche along with cycling and walking in Dorset and Devon. Our first hand experience of cycling the whole of the UK section of the TdM together with sections of the French route proved invaluable as we could describe the routes in detail whilst highlighting the diverse landscape and unique points of interest. The stand was very busy from the moment the doors opened and although most visitors to the show had heard of Dorset and the Tour de Manche route, having someone to speak to firsthand with detailed knowledge and information of the routes proved very popular”. Roy continued, we also learnt a lot more about how the Dutch holiday, the length of time and what information they require to make their holiday decision. I feel Dorset has a lot more to offer and we will now be looking to develop more cycling routes in Dorset.
The stand was funded by a number of French regions, with the dedicated Tour de Manche section being funded by the TdM working group. Dorset County and Visit England also made contributions to the set up and manning of the stand.