The point of the story: read, educate yourself, ask questions, travel, invest in knowledge and know-how, research because that is the only way to develop, both as individuals and as a society and profession. Photo: Istria Bike Reason? They learn from the better again. To correct myself immediately does not mean that others are better than us in all segments, there are always good and bad examples and experiences in the field. It is good to see some ideas and examples that are bad, so that we ourselves would not repeat them or confirm our doubts about some concepts. Sometimes an idea is great on paper and in your head, but it doesn’t work on the field. But it’s all school. But the most important thing is to think and deal with market development. The road is never a straight highway from point A to point B, but always winding and with a lot of challenges. What is a great example is that for years they have invested in the development of winemaking and olive oil as well as the development of cycling tourism, aware of their challenges and potential, but they have learned from others. They learned from the successful, toured all over Europe, raised quality, technology, invested and hired domestic and foreign experts, called foreign experts to Istria, etc.… but the main message of this story is that they saw positive and negative practical examples, consulted with experts (invested in knowledge), and did what they think is best in their field. / / / OPERATIONAL CYCLOTURISM DEVELOPMENT PLAN OF ISTRIA COUNTY FOR THE PERIOD FROM 2019 TO 2025 But let’s get back to the story. Organized by the Istrian Development Tourist Agency, representatives of tourist organizations visited bike friendly hotel, and get acquainted with the special offer that the hotel has for its cycle guests – bicycle storage, bicycle rental and repair service, availability of emergency medical care and more. Istria is an example of how the market should develop. 13 years ago, they defined the vision and development strategy, founded IRTU (Istrian Development Tourist Agency), Vinistra Association, which brings together most winemakers, etc.… and what is the common denominator of this story is market development. As part of the study trip, a guided bicycle tour was organized for the representatives, as part of which they toured part of the island by bicycle. They could see many while driving bike friendly places like cafes and restaurants that have a place to store bicycles and a special offer for cyclists. “Despite the fact that Mallorca is a completely different destination from Istria, and almost exclusively develops road cycling, it was interesting to see their signalization, road bike paths and the attitude of other road users towards cyclists, which is at a high level.”, Said Slavica Tobok Kandic, director of IRTA doo Interestingly, Mallorca attracts annually over 90 cyclists which extend the season to that Balearic island, and it is mainly about the Germans who have their own agencies around the island that offer rental and repair of equipment as well as guided bike tours, among which the most famous Huerzeler. If we can learn from someone about the development of cycling tourism in Croatia, it is certainly Istria. Investigate Istria Bike a website specifically for cycling tourism. But the success is not accidental, behind it is a whole team of people who have been cleverly building the whole story around cycling tourism for years. The “Operational Plan for the Development of Cyclotourism in the County of Istria for the Period from 2019 to 2025” was recently presented. Investigate it in the attachment. Thus, Margarita Picornell from the Regional Department of Tourism, which is in charge of all the Balearic Islands, introduced the representatives in general to the development of tourism in the Balearics, the basic goals and management, but also the promotion of tourism products. It is interesting to note that due to the mass tourism that happened to them, the Balearics are systematically turning to sustainable and eco-tourism, not promoting the sun and the sea anymore, but exclusively before and after the season under the slogan “Better in winter”. This is supported by the massive one-day bike event “Mallorca 312”, which for ten years in a row on the last Saturday in April attracts 8000 participants to the island, while the entire Balearic Islands annually generates revenue of 90 million euros from cycling tourism alone. This is the second in a series of study trips organized by the Bike & Outdoor Department within the Istrian Development Tourist Agency, all with the aim of learning about examples of good practice, expanding horizons and trying to implement good solutions in the local area. Istria has long turned to itself and its resources, ie to keep its development under its hands, and not to wait for the State, and for years it has been slowly but surely and smartly developing. Today they are where they are – the best tourist region in Croatia. But the success did not come overnight and years of effort, education, various challenges and development were invested in it. A short introduction to a new story in which tourism workers again sought practical examples and experiences from others outside their borders. Thus, representatives of the Istrian tourist boards, the County Department of Tourism, and hotel companies visited the Spanish island of Mallorca last week to get acquainted with the example of good practice in the development and promotion of cycling tourism. Since Mallorca is a destination that can be reached almost exclusively by plane, this has proven to be a very successful business, so agencies in some places on the island in the high season can rent up to 1000 bikes a day. Several presentations of public and private sector organizations were organized for the representatives.