South Africa puts cycling tourists in saddle

24th Jun 2013

South Africa is doing for cycling tourism what Hawaii does for surfing.

This is what Kevin Vermaak, founder of the South African-staged Absa Cape Epic race, has told the Cape Argus.

Western Cape tourism, economic development and finance minister Alan Winde believes the south-west South African province could become the world's favourite cycling destination.

The provincial government aims to annually attract 100,000 cycling tourists within the next decade - with the help of Winde's recent fact-finding mission to another biking heartland, the Netherlands.

He met the Dutch Cycling Embassy, a network of cycling experts, in a bid to reach out to future generations of tourists on trekking holidays with a bent for bikes.

Dave Bellairs, director of the Cape Argus Pick 'n' Pay Cycle Tour, said the Cape offers holidaymakers much more than just cycling-focused specialist tours.

Mr Bellairs said: "There's an untapped variety of options for our people, what with our coastal routes and Winelands routes."

The scheme will be complemented by co-marketing the Cape Argus Pick 'n' Pay Cycle Tour with a new road race in London, where the Cape tour's blueprint is being repeated.

The Western Cape annually welcomes 3,500 overseas cycling tourists.

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