Research and trend data indicate that mountain-bike riding is set to continue to increase in popularity globally and particularly in Europe, and that this particular target group (mountain bikers) is extremely interested in new destinations and eco-tourism. For Montenegro, developing new and innovative tourist products, such as bike tours, which are affordable to customers and generate profits for tourist businesses, is essential.
However, there is alack of information to guide and support stakeholders with an interest in these types of tourist products. Apart from the fact that there are almost no specific biking trails / paths in Montenegro, and the local and mountain tracks are of poor quality, not well maintained, and are well below international standards, there is also a lack of information and knowledge on where the biking paths should pass through.
Although the National Tourism Organization is well aware of the trends, and they include "Hiking and Biking" as one of the priority development segments in the Tourism Master Plan, the general awareness for this particular target group's expectations does not exist among tourism stakeholders in general.
During the ITB 2007, CSTI and NTO discussed for the first time a Pilot Bike Tour that could be conducted jointly in order to test the potential for the future development of biking tours and similar group-adventure and eco-tourism activities in Montenegro. This Pilot Biking Tour encompasses a wide range of adventure activities (biking, hiking, trekking, rafting), while also emphasizing sustainable tourism practices, including: travelling courteously, responsibly and respectfully, and in smaller groups to minimize the impact on nature and local communities, ensuring that these types of holidays are of beneficial experience for everyone involved.
The purpose of the Pilot Bike Tour should encompass:
This project brings together the public, private and NGO sector - Montenegro Adventures, CSTI, National Tourism Organization, Regional Tourism Organization for Bjelasica and Komovi, ADFC (Biking Association from Germany), and Beppler & Jacobson (Bianca Resort & Spa) - on a tour that should set the basis for development of this tourist product as well as identification of additional needs in order to develop future projects related to the Master Plan.
To assess and analyze the potential for the development and growth of tourist products based on biking activities that will include all the different aspects of the offer (accommodation, trail infrastructure, local community development, and cultural and natural attractions).