Record numbers of visitors attend cycling, walking and outdoor events in Ghent 2020

[ - press release - ]

The combination of the ‘Fiets en Wandelbeurs’, E-bike Challenge and Mount Expo in Ghent drew a record number of 16,605 visitors. For two whole days, Flanders Expo was the focus of attention for bicycling, walking and outdoor loving Flanders.

Right from the start of the opening day on Saturday, the walkways were so filled up with visitors you could almost have crowd-surfed your way over their heads. Mount Expo, the climbing and mountain pursuits event of the  ‘Klim- en Bergsportfederatie’ (KBF), proved to be one of the best ever. The workshop plaza was packed with interested visitors and the stands of outdoor kit suppliers – and brands – had no complaints about the attention they drew. Waterproof rucksacks, clothing, climbing boots, sleeping bags and mats, just some of the items from a broad range of outdoor material, which were often available at a favourable price.

Visitors flocked around the destinations featured at the ‘Fiets en Wandelbeurs’. The stand offering ‘Cycling Routes in France’ had a high footfall and soon got through its supply of brochures. While exhibitors from Austria, Spain and other countries were kept very busy by visitors who fired off all kinds of questions about cycling and walking holidays in their respective countries

Info-markets

The info-market on walking provided by ‘Grote Routepaden’ – long distance trails -  and the cycling info-market provided by the ‘Vakantiefietser’ – holiday cyclists -  were extremely popular with visitors. Dozens of enthusiastic volunteers from these organisations were on hand to give advice about destinations, routes and equipment. The chairs at the info-tables were almost continuously occupied. The video reportages also drew a great deal of attention, including the presentations by Tom Langmans (walking in the UK), Trien Pauwels (bike-packing from Ghent to Taiwan), Janneke Klop (mountain trails in the Carpathians in Romania) and Kristien Hansebout (cycling on the flat in Wallonia).

Test tracks

At the E-bike Challenge, 30 brands presented their latest models. There was every opportunity to try them out on a test ride on the big indoor tracks, and visitors made grateful use of it. The ‘speedpedelecers’ had their own track at which they could reach speeds of up to 45 kph on speed pedelecs. It was busy at the mountain biking track too, where young and old were testing their skills on the obstacles and the cycle bridge. On Saturday, cycling icon Eddy Planckaert was special guest of the Challenge: dozens of visitors grabbed the opportunity to make a selfie with their cycling hero.

Hicle Family

The three events had a joint programme for children under the Hicle Family banner. A remarkably high number of young family groups were to be seen walking around in Flanders Expo, trying out all kinds of activities from children’s face painting and play corner, the children’s cycle track, and the children’s climbing wall. And for those tired from playing, cycling and climbing, there were plenty of terraces, and seating to rest on.