This article argues that while cycle tourism remains only a small sector within sustainable tourism, it has great growth potential and attractive characteristics for the communities that engage in it. Based on this thesis, first, a description is given of cycle tourism, its characteristics, evolution and impacts. Second, its implementation through public policies over the past two decades is analysed. Third, the way cycle tourism has developed in various countries is examined, along with what “rail trails” are, comparing two successful case studies (Girona’s Vies Verdes and La Loire à Vélo). Finally, the conclusions highlight the importance of this sustainable means of tourism, the implementation of which requires cooperation and networking between various public and private actors, and raises the question of whether this type of tourism is replicable in medium-developed countries.
Key words: tourism, cycle tourism, public policies, sustainability, environment
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