By bike or on horseback, these are just two of the many ways you can get to know the natural beauties of Krapina-Zagorje County. And horseback riding and cycling were the main topics of the just-completed cross-border project, which, among other things, further enriched the tourist offer of Hrvatsko Zagorje. Namely, the result of the project RIDE & BIKE in which six partners from Croatia and Slovenia participated, is an increase in the number of visitors in RIDE & BIKE destinations.
This was achieved through the smart integration of natural and cultural heritage, which this destination abounds in with an active vacation, and the interpretation of that heritage for active tourists, ie cyclists and riders. Sustainable tourist products have been designed, additional visitor infrastructure or interpretive points have been arranged, the capacities of key stakeholders in the tourism industry have been educated and additionally strengthened, and the RIDE & BIKE destination has been promoted.
Project partners acted regionally and through project activity created a larger cross-border tourist destination. The main goal of the project was the development of selective tourism products based on the interpretation of natural and cultural heritage through the establishment of systematic development management sustainable active tourism. The innovativeness of the project is reflected in the improvement and realization of common cross-border goals.
As part of the project, among other things, the RIDE & BIKE offer was organized, six bicycle and five equestrian thematic routes were traced and digitized, and 20 interpretive points were arranged. In addition, five cycling and five equestrian and two joint cross-border RIDE & BIKE itineraries have been designed. Furthermore, standards for catering and accommodation offer for cyclists and riders have been developed and ten facilities have been standardized.
In the Krapina-Zagorje County, a Joint RIDE & BIKE Destination Strategy was developed, which includes a Visitor Management Plan, a Long-Term Destination Action Plan and a cross-border cycling itinerary. In addition, training for bicycle guides was organized.
The results of the project were presented at the Closing Conference held in Krapina. Three partners from the Croatian side and three from the Slovenian side participated in the project. In addition to the Zagorje Development Agency and the Tourist Board of Krapina-Zagorje County and the Sava-Sutla Valleys and Concerns, the project also includes two Slovenian development agencies Kozjansko and Sutla, and the Public Institute for Culture, Sports and Youth Tourism Sevnica.
Cross-border project RIDE & BIKE II, which is 85% co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund within the cooperation program Interreg Croatia-Slovenia 2014-2020. began to be implemented on September 1, 2018 and was implemented for 30 months or will end on February 28, 2021. Of the total value of the project, which amounts to EUR 875.472,55 in the Krapina-Zagorje County, activities were carried out with a total value of EUR 277.122,50 or EUR 189.692,50 for cycling tourism and EUR 87.430 for equestrian tourism.
The specific outputs of the RIDE & BIKE project in the Krapisnko-Zagorje County are:
- developed Joint Strategy of RIDE & BIKE destinations, which includes the Visitor Management Plan, the Action Plan for long-term cooperation of the destination and cross-border cycling itineraries;
- organized 1 bicycle race (as part of the Thanksgiving autumn 2020 - 5th bicycle race in Klanjec),
- realized online campaign on Facebook and web portals for the website www.zagorjebike.com.hr,
- a joint project website was created www.rideandbike.eu and the website was further redesigned and supplemented www.zagorjebike.com.hr,
- organized training for bicycle guides
- organized education on the topic of interpretation of cultural and natural heritage according to the approach implemented by Interpret Europe
- developed visual identity of RIDE & BIKE friendly / professional / specialist standard
- traced 5 new family and 6 MTB routes in the area of KZŽ
- 5 interpretive points for cyclists
- 2 interpretive points for riders and horses
- education for the private and public tourism sector
- pilot certification of the equestrian route whereby our route enters the catalog of the Italian ENGEA
- traced 1 new equestrian route
- developed RIDE & BIKE standards (BIKE / RIDE friendly, professional, specialist)
- redesigned website www.zagorjeride.com.hr
- organization of a study tour for tourist ambassadors
Cover photo: Screenshot Youtube Zagorje - Ride & Bike