Friday, October 4, 2013 - 12:00

More than one hundred tourism businesses and members of the public came from across the South West to learn how Cornwall can draw visitors to the county all year round.
Thirty-two organisations including the CYCLE WEST project, Sustrans and the National Trust mounted displays at the Cornwall Tracks and Trails expo, and were on hand to speak to people from tourism businesses about the range of opportunities provided by Cornwall’s cycle trails, walking and horse-riding to attract and retain visitors throughout the year.
The free event, held at the Eden Project, also had scheduled presentations from organisations such as Visit Cornwall and Viper Marketing.  Those attending said they found the event helpful - giving them new ideas to promote their business – as well as a valuable opportunity to talk face to face with people involved in developing Cornwall’s outdoor activities and benefit from their expertise.
A group of cyclists set off from the event to launch the Vélowest route, a new network of signed routes through Cornwall, which has been developed by CYCLE WEST, Cornwall Council and Sustrans.  Vélowest is a way-marked cycle tour of Cornwall spurring off the existing Tour de Manche and Vélodyssée routes, following part of the National Cycle Network.  The route takes in Bude, the spectacular un-spoilt north Cornwall coast and the wild, rugged northern edge of Bodmin Moor. It then joins the popular Camel Trail and returns via the Eden Project and the ancient market towns of Bodmin, Launceston and Tavistock. The full route is 250 km and is on a combination of quiet roads and traffic-free routes.
Councillor Edwina Hannaford, Cornwall Council portfolio holder for Environment, Heritage and Planning, said: “I was delighted to see the business event at Eden and the launch of the Cornwall Vélowest route so well supported.  Feedback from exhibitors and the public was positive and reflected the need for business to gain help and information at an event like this.  The six presentations were well attended and standholders found the day a valuable opportunity for networking.  It is hoped that this could become a regular feature in the Cornish calendar.”
Isabelle Parfitt, CYCLE WEST project manager, said: “Vélowest completes the network of cross-Channel cycle routes linking Cornwall, Devon and Dorset with France which have been launched over the past two years.  Details of the Vélowest route will soon be available online via the Tour de Manche and Vélodyssée sites, divided into convenient bite-sized sections so people can plan a leisurely day ride or the whole 250kms.  There will also be details available of bike hire, places to visit and accommodation along the route.”