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Experiencing nature in an environmentally friendly and comfortable way: atene KOM’s new project supports e-bike tourism in the Harz Mountains and Harz foothills

The Harz Mountains are a tourist hotspot in Germany. In 2016, the region recorded more than 6.5 million overnight stays, and the trend is rising. Nature and hiking enthusiasts in particular appreciate the highest mountains in northern Germany and use its extensive forests and numerous river valleys for recreation.
In order for tourism in the region to develop sustainably, it must open up to current trends. For some years now, cycling and especially the use of e-bikes have become increasingly popular with holiday makers in the Harz Mountains. The E-Bike Paradise project aims to enhance regional cycle tourism. The goal is the development of a networked e-bike system with information on routes and all necessary infrastructures: booking system, rental, service and charging stations. The implementation will take place in exchange with the Austrian LEADER region “Südburgenland plus”, which has already gained positive experience in this field. Regions from Lower Saxony and Saxony-Anhalt are cooperating on the project. Also the experiences with the popular Harzer Wandernadel (Harz Hiking Needle) – a reward system for active hikers – are considered. For example, the introduction of a “cyclist needle” is being prepared for southern Burgenland.

atene KOM’s two regional offices in Osterholz-Scharmbeck (responsible for Bremen, Hamburg, Lower Saxony and Schleswig-Holstein) and Leipzig (responsible for Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt and Thuringia) are taking over the project management. They will organise events and training courses and implement public relations work. The moderation of the knowledge transfer between the participants from Germany and Austria as well as the support of the communication strategy on a national and transnational level are among the tasks of atene KOM in the project.