EcoVeloTour - BAAT has completed the Strategy for development of cycling and ecotourism in Ruse region with perspective of the ecosystem services used


Based on the situation analysis and building on previous initiative of Ruse Municipality for regional cultural route The Rivers of Time, the strategy elaborates on the idea creating an itinerary which offers calm roads for cycling with opportunities to visit natural areas along the rivers Danube, Rusenski Lom and Yantra. A novel planning approach is used to elaborate the ECOVELOTOUR strategy with consideration of the ecosystem services provisions and needs for protection. The analysis in the strategy estimates the species in the region and the attractiveness of their presence for the tourist. Based on that a recommendation for branding with the use of emblematic species for the region is elaborated.

The administration of the Regional Governor of Ruse District used findings in the ECOVELOTOUR strategy to incorporate it in the ongoing process for elaboration of Regional Strategy for Sustainable Development of Tourism in Ruse District. The regional strategy was published in March 2020 and its action plan includes many of the actions from the ECOVELOTOUR strategy.

The local cycling clubs will make use of the data gathered by automatic counting. The data will be public and scientific institutions will have the floor to analyze and compare trends and patterns in use of bicycle transportation on three locations in Ruse District.

During the process of public consultation of the strategy a local adventure club Byala Zvezda expressed interest to organize cycling tours for their members using the Route Rivers of Time.

The most attractive area in the region Ruse District is Nature park Rusenski Lom where one can find magnificent landscape of the river valley in combination with stunning medieval churches carved in the rocks. The area is famous for visits by foreign and domestic tourists. As the majority of visitors use motorized transportation, the ECOVELOTOUR strategy elaborated on creation of a cycling route which connects the main city of Ruse with the river valley of Rusenski Lom. This aims to provide opportunity for some tourists to take the bicycle and discover the region. The route consists of a small and big loop where the small loop covers the nature park and the big loop extends to the valleys of river Danube and Yantra. As a result, the route connects 6 from the 7 municipalities in the Ruse District region. This opens opportunities for the route to be subject to cooperation between the municipalities. Most of the route uses asphalt roads and does not span over the areas for protection, but only touches the most attractive spots ensuring minimal disturbance of nature.

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Programme co-funded by European Union funds (ERDF, IPA, ENI)