Cycling tourism continuing to boost Majorca's low seasons. | Julián Aguirre

The best cycling season of all time is being forecast for Majorca. More than 140,000 cyclists are expected to make the period between February and May the best ever, these cyclists coming from almost all European Union countries. Specialist tour operators, the Balearic Tourism Agency and the organisers of the Mallorca 312 event at the end of April are estimating that business volume from this tourism will amount to 110 million euros, which will be 10% greater than last year.

This year's growth in the number of cycling tourists will be between 15 and 20%. This demand has increased progressively in the last few years and is shooting up this year, suggest the tour operators Max Hürzeler Bicycle Holidays and Diana Sportsreisen, which work closely with the German, Austrian and Swiss markets.

The Majorca Hoteliers Federation says that its members have adapted to the diversification in tourist demand that cycling represents. Over several years, investment has been made in equipping hotels for this market, and there are now some 120 hotels across the islands which have, among other things, workshops for maintenance and repair, storage, gyms and special menus. In diversifying away from only the summer season, the positive impact, over and above simply economic, has been and is being felt in most of Majorca's tourist resort areas, but especially those of Playa de Palma, the bay of Alcudia, Puerto Pollensa, Cala Ratjada and Cala Millor.

The existing road network, with many roads classified as cycling tourism routes, is something else that has encouraged tour operators and sports events' organisers to set their sights on Majorca. An example of these events is Mallorca 312, the seventh staging of which will occur in April. Professors at the University of the Balearic Islands have undertaken a study of the impact of this particular event, which will this year attract some 4,000 participants. They will generate, it is estimated, some 9.3 million euros of business volume over some eight days. With a daily spend per person of 160 euros, this is well above other niches in the low season, and two-thirds of the visitors come from the UK, Germany and Sweden.