Sustainable Interregional Bike Tourism – (SIBIT)
A Project co-financed by the European Union – European Regional Development Fund in the frame of the OP Italia - Malta 2007 – 2013
The Malta Tourism Authority, together with the Province of Agrigento, Ragusa, Caltanissetta, Trapani and Siracusa, the Polo Universitario and the Local Councils’ Association have pooled some of their resources and, following extensive discussions which took place in Malta and Sicily, it was agreed that EU funding will be sought to enable all parties involved to promote bike tourism.
The main objective of this project is to introduce and support joint and standardised infrastructural development and new operational activities in both Malta and Sicily within a natural and rural environment aimed at promoting bike tourism as a form of sustained tourist development.
The point of inception of the ‘SIBIT’ project has been based on the presumption that there exists no special offering (in Malta and Sicily) on bike tourism albeit there are the conditions for this segment to flourish. Also, the idea has focused on the value added as a result of this new opportunity which places particular emphasis on:
- the environment
- a healthy lifestyle and
- seasonal mitigation factors
Undoubtedly, amongst other things, this project will:
- enable the accretion of wealth and financial prosperity through increased commercial activity and more employment opportunities through the packaging of a product (bike tourism) amongst a multitude of direct and indirect stakeholders, e.g tourist guides, hoteliers, restaurateurs, tourist agencies, tour operators, public entities, NGOs, artisans, bike rental agencies – which may increase in number as a result of more activity being generated - language schools’ operators and so forth
- pave the way for a follow on (after the termination of this project’s timeframe) through the introduction of future guidelines as contemplated in the communication plan as well as the involvement of suitable entities in the adherence to new long term agreements brought as a result of activities initiated during the term of this project
This project gives the possibility to both participating parties to, synergistically, promote one another within a tourist oriented context upon which both of them can boast of great potential be this relating to nature, the environment, culture, the art of cooking, architecture and history at large. As a result, the study of a unique and homogenous product which may be exported to a tourist means that both parties may be in a position to increase the overall level of their respective tourist appeal.
Furthermore, the favourable mild climate which is so prevalent during the entire year allows both interested parties to be in a position to, uninterruptedly, offer many a biking holiday opportunity to enthusiasts during the cold winter months of the northern hemisphere.
The exchange of know-how and the possibility for both parties to provide more value for money within so much geographical proximity - where Sicily is closer to Malta than certain high profile tourist cities within mainland Italy – is, indeed, an enviable opportunity for growth.
The cost of this project will be predominantly funded by the European Union.
The Maltese routes both commence from near the Roman Villa in Rabat, with Route 1 being the South West Route while Route 2 is the North West Route. Some places of interest along Route 1 include Buskett Gardens, Dingli Cliffs, Girgenti Valley, Maqluba & Limestone Heritage. Place of interest along Route 2 include Bahrija, Mosta, Ta’ Qali and Dingli. Route 3 is a 42km coastal route around Gozo.
Opening Seminar – Oct 2011
Informational Seminar – Nov 2012
Closing Seminar - April 2013