The Power of Pedals: What We Can Learn from the Netherlands' Bicycle Culture for Sustainable Tourism
On March 4th, we had the honor of speaking at the Fábrica de Arte Cubano in Havana, Cuba, at the invitation of the Citykleta Bicycle Festival and the Embassy of the Netherlands in Cuba. The talk was centered on the rich bicycle culture in the Netherlands, where approximately 50% of daily trips are made on two wheels. We also explored the unique opportunities that cycling tourism can offer to Cuba, opportunities that are both profitable and sustainable.
The popularity of cycling in the Netherlands is well known, and for good reason. The Dutch have invested heavily in cycling infrastructure and education, creating a culture where cycling is not just a form of transportation, but a way of life. This culture has resulted in significant benefits, both for the environment and the health of the population. In addition, cycling tourism has become an important part of the Dutch economy, with visitors coming from all over the world to experience the country on two wheels.
Cycling tourism is a global phenomenon that offers a unique way to experience a destination, allowing visitors to explore at their own pace, interact with locals, and take in the environment around them. Cycling is a low-impact form of transportation, making it an ideal way to explore areas that are difficult to access by car or bus. Moreover, cycling tourism has a longer-term economic impact, both in marketing the attractions of the territory and in job creation.
At the talk, Jaime Garrido emphasized that the success of cycling tourism requires the presence of a network of local actors, both public and private, who act synergistically for the success of the initiative. At the policy level, this implies the need to develop any project in an integrated perspective, involving all the actors in the territory.
In conclusion, the event highlighted the potential of cycling tourism as a sustainable and profitable way to explore Cuba. By investing in cycling infrastructure and education, Cuba can create a culture where cycling is not just a form of transportation, but a way of life. This culture will have significant benefits for the environment, the health of the population, and the economy. We are grateful to the Citykleta Bicycle Festival and the Embassy of the Netherlands in Cuba for this incredible opportunity and look forward to seeing the development of cycling culture in Cuba.