CYCLING tourism brought 56.35 million euros to the Balearics in 2005, which is a rise of 3.5 percent in comparison with the 54.43 million which it generated in 2004, according to a study published by the Confederation of Associations of Balearic Companies (CAEB). This report, which was prepared by the CAEB's department of economy in collaboration with the Balearic Ministry of Tourism, puts the number of cycling tourists visiting the islands in 2005 at 81'200, 1'5 percent more than in 2004. The average stay for these tourists was 9.72 days, very similar to 2004 when the average stay was 9.74 days.
Also, the total spent (including accommodation) by the cycling tourists per person per day rose by 2.2 percent in 2005, going from 96.32 euros in 2004 to 98.40 in 2005. As for the cash purchases per person per day, these amounted to 38.40 euros, a rise of 2.4 percent in comparison with 2004. According to the CAEB's analysis, the state, suitability and signing of the roads are the main concerns of the cycling tourists and also the specialist hotels as they are “the key and condition necessary to maintain the development” of this sector. The report highlights the rise in promotional efforts in this field, although it says that they are still low level, while also saying that the big specialist tourist companies continue being the major channels for cycling tourism. In addition, there is a high concentration of this type of tourist in just a few hotels, 40 percent of cycling tourists who come to the Balearics stay in just 10 hotels which, of course, influences how much of the year these hotels stay open. According to the study, 89.5 percent of cycling tourism remains seasonal, although the months of September and October have seen a slight rise in this activity. In particular, the British sector of this activity has increased in the last few years and now represents 18.2 percent of the total, while the rest of the markets for this area have generally remained stable. Cycling tourism is one of the most practised sports in Europe according to the report. Between 1998 and 2004 there was a rise of 25.9 percent in the number of cycling tourists coming to the Balearics. To improve the competitivity of cycling tourism in the islands, the CAEB recommends the drawing up of an integral plan of interconnected cycling routes and the introduction of speed limits for traffic on the roads around these routes. It also recommends the development of a “Balearic image” as a cycling tourism destination and the development of campaigns of awareness for drivers and cyclists. From the CAEB's point of view, it would also be better to get the collaboration of the big specialist companies for the promotion of cycling tourism activities during the September to November season with a view to promoting the islands as an all year cycling tourism destination. Among the other recommendations in this report are: to ensure the good state and use of the roads; to incorporate cycling routes into the development of new road infrastructures; and to encourage cooperation in promotional aspects.