Foreign Journalists Exploring the Danube Bicycle Route

OSIJEK, 15.6.2006.

Regarding the promotion 'Danube Route' which forms an important part of the Croatian tourist offer along the Danube region, numerous foreign journalists gathered in the city of Osijek on 15 June. Those journalists were mostly specialized in cycle-tourism.

The Austrian and German representatives of the media showed great interest in that route which passes the Croatian territory in the length of 138 kilometers until the border with Serbia. The route is part of a project initiated by the German Society for Technical Cooperation (Gesellschaft fur Technische Zusammenarbeit –GTZ).

The Croatian route which runs through the eastern part of the country was organized in the cooperation of the Ministry of the Sea, Tourism, Transport and Development, the Croatian GTZ office and the NGO 'Bicycle'. The route is marked by bicycle signalization and described thoroughly in cycle- tourist guides published in Croatian, German and English.

Yesterday's bike excursion in the organization of the GTZ office in Croatia, supported by the NGO 'Bicycle' as well as representatives of local tourist boards, started from Osijek (Stara Tvrđa) til the Natural park ‘Kopački rit’, where the whole trip continued with a  boat excursion. After that the journalists and their hosts visited a local ‘Bike&Bed’ accommodation facility located in the village of Bilje, where they had the opportunity to taste the traditional local specialty ‘fiš’.

Important arguments for the development of this form of tourism, as it was pointed out by Darinka Širola (GNO ‘Bycicle’), is the fact that it fits into the natural surrounding of the Croatian Danube area, that ‘bicycle tourists’ are not very demanding guests - they enjoy to be active and to learn about the country they are visiting. The Baranja region is quiet ‘flat’ and the existing bicycle routes offer many specialized tourist facilities, i.e. restaurants, various forms of accommodation (Bike&Bed), bike road assistance services and many other.

After a tour of 18 km, the journalists continued their travel towards the east following and exploring the ongoing path of the 'Danube route'.