Bed & Bike should take tourists out of the car

16 July 2020 - Published by Eva den Boer
DOMBURG - With 'Bed & Bike' it should be possible to reduce the use of cars by tourist, is the strong expectation of Harm IJben of HZ Knowledge Centre for Coastal Tourism. He hopes that next year guests of Hotel Bommeljé located in Domburg will opt for that formula. "When they book a room, they receive a rental bike per person. "

The Knowledge Centre is trying to limit the use of the car as a means of transport together with other European research institutions as part of the project Interreg North Sea Region MOVE. The Knowledge Centre focuses on tourism, aiming to make a contribution to society. "We don't want to write a theoretical piece about what should happen. We want to do something with the people directly concerned that can be followed up without too many problems."

The project is developed in cooperation with hotelier Peter Bommelje from Domburg. According to IJben, the entrepreneur sees that it has become increasingly busy in recent years and that car traffic in Domburg is causing headaches. "There are parking problems and the search traffic is a nuisance." IJben then went to talk to the guests of the Hotel Bommeljé to see whether they are willing to cooperate in reducing this. "We literally sat down with them to hear their perspective." He immediately noticed that the guests are willing to leave the car if an alternative is offered. “That's how we came up with the idea for Bed & Bike. Because if a bicycle is available, people don't get into the car that quickly.”


The project has been postponed due to corona outbreak

At the beginning of this year, IJben hoped that the project would be able to start in 2020. This was not the case as the corona crisis changed everything and there was no point in further developing the project. Because at the end of March no one knew whether and when the tourists would return. "Now we will aim for May 2021 as the start of the project." Part of the plan is that the cars of the guests of Hotel Bommeljé will park outside the centre and they will receive alternative transport. That is why we collaborate with the local bicycle repair shop. He thinks there are opportunities to work together in other centres as well. "For example, to arrange that those cyclists can park on the Zusterplein in Middelburg so that it is tempting to cycle there." He can also imagine that packages are offered and that cyclists from Bed & Bike can have lunch at a special rate along beautiful cycling routes in the region of Walcheren. "The concept offers many opportunities to work together and to expand."

"We are waiting for space for shared cars"

Peter Bommeljé points out that the project must be part of a total of measures to reduce car traffic in Domburg. He hopes that space will soon become available for parking 'shared cars'. "We are currently waiting for that." Other measures are needed, he believes, which are widely supported by residents and entrepreneurs. 


Read the original news article here (in Dutch) 

Read more about the pilot project here.