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Landelijk Fietsplatform meets ADFC

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On November 29, a valuable knowledge meeting took place in Amersfoort, initiated by the ADFC.

Director Burkhard Stork and department manager Louise Böhler, the ANWB, and Landelijk Fietsplatform chairman Paulus Jansen look back on a good conversation. Paulus Jansen: "We would like to intensify the cross-border cooperation with regard to tourist cycling, which helps with this." Burkhard Stork was also content: "We had a really great meeting at Fietsplatform for an intense exchange about cycling tourisme in Germany and the Netherlands. We will continue!"

The consultation focused on knowledge and expertise exchange. In the morning the junction networks and the long-distance cycle routes in the Netherlands and Germany were discussed. Also the relationship with EuroVelo. In the afternoon, Fietsplatfom director Eric Nijland and ADFC and deputy director Leon Hoogsteen zoomed in on monitoring, research and marketing of bicycle tourism. Fietsplatform and ADFC confirmed vice versa that it is good to organize a meeting like this every year. A visit to the Netherlands Fietsland can't be without a bit of cycling as you can see in the photo, which was on Friday afternoon in the surroundings of Amersfoort.

'Nederland Fietsland' is more than just a consumer label with which the Landelijk Fietsplatform wants to put recreational cyclists on the track of bicycle routes. After all, our country is often seen as a cycling paradise abroad. The bicycle is integrated into everyday life and the bicycle facilities are at a high level, as well as the area of recreational routes. With a bicycle route network of more than 33,000 km of bicycle nodes and LF routes, the cyclist has an almost unlimited choice to make a short or long bike ride.

As an independent knowledge and information point, the Landelijk Fietsplatform aims to promote the possibilities for recreational cycling in the Netherlands and stimulate the use of these cycling opportunities. Sharing knowledge at home and abroad is also part of this. The Fietsplatform focuses on bundling facts and figures, enriching these figures and sharing knowledge. For the cyclist the Fietsplatform manages the consumer portal www.nederlandfietsland.nl and the derived English and German versions. These portals provide information about the various recreational cycling opportunities in the Netherlands.

Growing interest
From abroad there is a growing interest in tackling recreational cycling in the Netherlands on the one hand, and its organization on the other (public-private partnerships: bicycle platform as national contact point). From its knowledge role, the Fietsplatform is regularly asked to explain the Dutch cycle route structure. Recently during a working visit to Denmark, director Eric Nijland spoke with sister organization Dansk Cykelturisme and the Danish Cyclists' Union. Representatives of the Danish national road authority and Visit Denmark were also present at this meeting. There is a lot of interest in Denmark for the Dutch cycle route structure and for the role of the Fietsplatform as system manager, with accompanying national 'tools' as a route database, reporting system and Quality Monitor. Recreational cycling routes are seen in Denmark as part of the cycling infrastructure. But cooperation at and between the different levels (national-regional-local) is not highly organized. The Netherlands fulfills an example role. "In terms of how to organize, develop and promote cycling tourism, we are looking for more and more in the Dutch way of doing things", says Jesper Pørksen of Dansk Cykelturisme. During the working visit to Denmark, Eric Nijland also gave a presentation at the University of Copenhagen. This in the framework of a project of the University and the Danish government to better organize active tourism in Denmark. The presentation served as an introduction to connecting workshops. "It functioned as a common reference and was the cycle of cooperation between the involved partners", the university linked back.

Various initiatives
Dansk Cykelturisme wants to organize a working visit and excursion in the Netherlands in the spring of 2019. A similar work visit will also take place at the end of November 2018. Then the department manager for tourism and director of the German ADFC will visit the Fietsplatform. From Spain there has been interest in 'the Dutch way of cycling'. The first contacts were made during the ECF / EuroVelo Cycle Tourism Conference on 27 and 28 September in Hasselt. The Fietsplatform gave a presentation here and organized a cycling excursion. The Cycle Summit congress on 9 October in Arnhem was also a special stage. This largest event for bicycle tour operators in the world was organized for the first time in the Netherlands and enabled the Fietsplatform to put "Nederland Fietsland" on the map in this group.

In the international knowledge sharing the Fietsplatform works closely with Dutch Cycling Embassy, as earlier this year at the DCE congress 'Cities in transition' on 27 June. The dissemination of 20,000 leaflets 'Explore the Netherlands by bike' during Cycle Tel Aviv in late September is also a good example of this. Folkersma Routing & Sign is a business partner who, also on behalf of the Bicycle Platform, also communicates the knowledge about the route networks in the Netherlands to professionals abroad. Together they have compiled an English language flyer.

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