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La location de vélos sur l’axe ligérien en Région Centre. Diagnostic et prospective d’un micro-secteur de l’économie du tourisme sportif

Abstract : The objective of this paper is to analyse the activity of bicycle-hire firms along the Loire in the Centre Region, taking a dual marketing/geo-developmental approach. This area and this activity were chosen on account of the recent inscription of the Val de Loire as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and also by the cooperation between the Centre and Pays de la Loire regions since 1996 with regard to the « Loire à vélo » operation. The purpose of the operation is to improve the cycle routes in the Val de Loire, to enhance natural and architectural heritage, to improve the provision of tourist sports activities and to assist the process of local development. This cross-cutting public policy could have a significant impact on the nature, extent and quality of the service provided by bicycle-hire firms. It is thus necessary to look at the specific features of this type of leisure activity, the current organisation of the market and its socio-economic impact. In addition, we need to identify how initiatives taken by the commercial market link in with the regional development approach underlying the intervention of public players involved in the « Loire à Vélo » scheme. This work comes under the general heading of the relationship between public and commercial sectors in the provision of sports activities. To tackle this issue, a marketing analysis of the activity of bicycle-hire firms was carried out via a questionnaire sent to 53 providers who were working in 2003. Semi-directive interviews were then conducted with 15 providers who had a profile suitable for developing the « Loire à Vélo » operation. Other semi-directive interviews were carried out with different people responsible for designing and implementing the programme. The results of this research show notably that this economic micro-sector is growing, 50% of firms having been in existence for less than 10 years, although two thirds of the people running them are over 45 years old and bicycle-hire constitutes less than 20% of the overall activity of the 53 firms. Differences were also observed in the localisation of the firms, the level of income, and consequently the volume and distribution of the hire area, the west of the region (Indre-et-Loire and Loir-et-Cher) being more active than the east (Loiret and Cher). Clients are divided equally between French and foreigners, the latter mainly found in Touraine. The internal French market is only now emerging, suggesting considerable PR work by the providers, whose lack of managerial skills remains the biggest handicap. While they benefit from a large network of cycle routes developed by the General Councils and the federated communes through the « Loire à Vélo » scheme, they have difficulty in feeling involved in the organisation and development objectives pursued by public actors for a micro-sector of sports tourism. The democratisation of cycling as a leisure activity meets the aims of an economic and environmental policy of reinvesting in heritage as part of a sustainable development approach. The creation of »La Loire à Vélo », which is both a public policy and a tourism product, should bring about economic consequences for everyone involved in regional tourism.
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https://hal-univ-orleans.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-02533789
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Submitted on : Monday, April 6, 2020 - 4:13:42 PM
Last modification on : Sunday, October 25, 2020 - 7:05:52 AM

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  • HAL Id : hal-02533789, version 1

Citation

José Chaboche, Régis de Reyke. La location de vélos sur l’axe ligérien en Région Centre. Diagnostic et prospective d’un micro-secteur de l’économie du tourisme sportif. Economie et patrimoine : actualités, interactions, perspectives / Economy and heritage : current events, interactions, prospects, Projet «Institut International fleuves et patrimoine», Mission Val de Loire; Université d'Orléans, Nov 2004, Orléans, France. pp.79-88. ⟨hal-02533789⟩

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