L-R: Lex Delles, Minister for Tourism; François Bausch, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Mobility & Public Works; Credit: MMTP

On Wednesday 13 October 2021, Luxembourg's Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Mobility and Public Works, François Bausch, and the Minister for Tourism, Lex Delles, provided an assessment of the “Vëlosummer 2021” cycling initiative.

Following the COVID-19 pandemic nd the resulting cycling boom”, the “Vëlosummer” initiative was set up in 2020 to create an attractive cycle tourist offer throughout the month of August.

Transport Minister François Bausch noted that since last year, "we have been experiencing a real renaissance in cycling in Luxembourg. We must support this 'boom' by putting in place the missing links in our national cycling network. I am thinking, for example, of the 'Vennbahn', one of the most attractive sections of our country. In this way, a separate track will cross the whole country from North to South”.

Following the success of the first edition and at the request of several municipalities, a second edition of Vëlosummer was organised from 31 July to 29 August 2021. The number of participating municipalities (65) tripled and that of cycle tourist routes (12, covering more than 550 km) doubled compared to the previous year.

Other changes this year included the removal of the route between Beggen and Dommeldange (which attracted more 13,000 cyclists in 2020) for safety reasons, as well as the limitation of the route in the Mamer valley to one weekend at the explicit request of the municipalities concerned (more than 11,000 cyclists in 2020).

Despite these changes and the fact that the summer of 2021 was the rainiest in 90 years, around 20,000 participating cyclists were identified on the various cycle tourist routes during Vëlosummer 2021.

Tourism Minister Lex Delles presented an analysis of the tourism promotion of the initiative. The number of distributed maps illustrating cycle tourist routes, as well as hospitality venues and shops, rose by 62% over one year, to 27,500. The www.velosummer.lu website counted 156,506 clicks, which corresponds to an increase of 64% compared to 2020; 83% of these clicks came from Luxembourg residents. An increased presence on social networks was also recorded, with the posts of the respective ministries and the national promotion agency, Luxembourg for Tourism, reaching 175,400 people (up 162%).

The participating municipalities and the five regional tourist offices also contributed to the Vëlosummer 2021 tourism framework programme. They particularly focused on hospitality establishments as well as local businesses located in the vicinity of the twelve Vëlosummer sections by organising a competition; cyclists were able to collect stickers and win prizes on the various routes. Overall, 159 establishments, including restaurants, cafes, shops and museums, actively promoted the Vëlosummer 2021 initiative.

Moreover, cyclists had the possibility of using the free luggage service of the General Directorate for Tourism, movewecarry.lu, as well as the €50 accommodation vouchers which had been distributed in the context of the "Lëtzebuerg - Dat ass Vakanz” national tourist campaign.

After deeming the 2021 edition a success, Ministers François Bausch and Lex Delles confirmed that a third edition of the Vëlosummer initiative will take place from 30 July to 28 August 2022. A call for projects has already been launched; groups of neighbouring municipalities or other regional players can propose attractive cycle routes highlighting Luxembourg's tourist assets until 15 December 2021.