Credit: OPTIN

Following the success of recent years, a fourth edition of “Vëlosummer” cycling initiative took place from 29 July to 27 August 2023 by Luxembourg's Ministry of Mobility and Public Works and the General Directorate for Tourism.

This year, 58 municipalities participated and twelve cycle-tourist circuits were selected. The Vëlosummer 2023 programme was developed in close collaboration with the municipalities, and offered four new circuits compared to 2022. In addition, two circuits made it possible for the first time to cross the Belgian and French borders. Of the approximately 500 km, 114 km of roads were reserved for cyclists, which required, as every year, considerable organisation on the part of the National Roads Administration, according to the authorities.

François Bausch, Luxembourg’s Minister for Mobility and Public Works, expressed satisfaction with the 24,000 participating cyclists recorded on the various cycle-tourist circuits during the Vëlosummer 2023, despite the rainy weather during the first half of August. The Ministry of Mobility and Public Works noted that on the “Äischdall-Tour” (2,156 participants) and “Uewersauer-Tour” (1,739 participants) circuits, the number of cyclists recorded was significantly higher than in 2022.

Luxembourg’s Minister for Tourism, Lex Delles, stressed that interest in Vëlosummer by residents, cross-border workers and tourists was strong in 2023. This trend manifested itself on several levels, the ministry noted. Thus, the 30,000 printed maps illustrating the twelve cycle routes and highlighting Horeca establishments, tourist points of interest and bicycle rentals, quickly sold out. The digital presence of Vëlosummer was also successful with more than 85,000 website consultations. Additionally, the users of the “VisitLuxembourg” application participated in the “challenges” option, which consisted in doing check-ins at different points of interest along the Vëlosummer circuits.

Minister Delles said that “active tourism is one of the flagships of our tourist offer. The rich and varied landscapes of the Grand Duchy invite you to discover Luxembourg and its tourist attractions by bicycle. The General Directorate of Tourism aims to strengthen the tourist attractiveness of the Grand Duchy, also through the Vëlosummer. Even if the rainy month of August ultimately had an impact on the number of active participants in Vëlosummer 2023, the success of the tourist promotion testifies to the great interest in this cycle-tourist event.”

Luxembourg's national railway company, the CFL, added that a total of 9,470 cyclists (compared to 9,417 in the previous year) made use of CFL trains, which were equipped for accommodating bicycles. The most frequently used train lines were Luxembourg - Troisvierges - Gouvy (54%), Luxembourg - Wasserbillig - Trier (19%) and Luxembourg - Esch-sur-Alzette - Rodange (10%). CFL staff provided assistance at train stations and stops, facilitating the loading and unloading of bikes and ensuring a smooth travel experience for participants.

In order to allow detailed and rigorous planning for the 2024 edition of the Vëlosummer, a call for projects will be launched for the Vëlosummer 2024 which will take place from Saturday 27 July to Sunday 25 August 2024, the ministry noted. In this context, groups of neighbouring municipalities or other regional players can offer attractive cycle routes highlighting the tourist assets of Luxembourg until 15 December 2023. The ministry also recommended that participating municipalities encourage local clubs to participate in Vëlosummer with supply or entertainment stands and take advantage of the event to promote tourist attractions and structures as well as hotel, restaurant and café establishments located in the vicinity of the circuits.