TourBike: an innovative, satnav-based bicycle tourism service on the Polish market
TourBike is a tour operator created in Poland in 2011 by two young women sharing a passion for travelling and two-wheels. With the ambition of promoting green tourism in their country, TourBike started organising cycling and kayaking trips in the beautiful landscapes surrounding Gdansk. The company provides high quality mountain bikes to people of any age (individuals, couples or families) willing to discover Polish cultural, natural and historical heritage in a sustainable and healthy fashion.
The Polish are becoming more and more interested in green tourism and cycling, as shown by the important volume of bikes sold in Poland in recent years. Foreign tourists, traditionally more keen on bike tours, such as Germans and Scandinavians, are showing a growing interest in visiting less known and less accessible parts of Poland. Despite this growing interest in green tourism, the cycling infrastructure is still limited. Many attractive spots, especially in the countryside, have no bicycle paths and are not included in tourist itineraries and maps.
The satellite solution
In order to respond to the growing demand from bike enthusiasts, TourBike decided to use satellite navigation to draw new bicycle itineraries for tourists. TourBike operators, equipped with a GPS device, have tested and recorded new routes that are accessible by bike, and complemented them with information on points of interest along the track. The new routes and information are made available on GPS devices to tourists who rent bikes from the company.
The GPS device is mounted on the bike handlebars and is able of capturing a signal even in isolated areas and deep canyons. It also locates the position of the customers in real-time with accuracy and reliability, allowing them to transfer their own tracks on a personal computer, as a souvenir, or to share with friends.
The satnav solution enables a safe bike journey in unknown or isolated areas, at an affordable price. The preloaded tracks allow tourists to choose among a wide range of itineraries with diverse thematic focuses and for different levels of bike expertise of the users, who can tailor their trip according to their own needs.
TourBike has been awarded the “Mercurius Gedanensis” Medal at the International Fair of Tourism held in Gdansk in 2011 for the best tourist site.
“Satellite navigation allows us to provide an innovative service and to differentiate our offer.”
Monika Zacha, Tourbike.