Partners > Westtoer


Westtoer is an independent company for tourism and recreation in the Province of West-Vlaanderen.

As part of a six-year management agreement with the Provincie West-Vlaanderen, we have worked on developing new recreational products for cycling, hiking, horseback riding, all-terrain cycling and driving. Currently there is a very varied assortment:

  • circular bicycle trails
  • themed bicycle trails along the cycling network
  • cycling networks
  • circular trails
  • trail networks
  • circular bridle paths
  • all terrain bicycle routes
  • circular car routes.

In addition to the development of new recreational products, Westtoer also manages these recreational products. We rely on more than 600 volunteers for this.

Why we are taking part

European projects such as Accessing the Countryside can be a driving force to increase the tourist and recreational importance of a region or province. Often at a municipal level, partners lack the financial resources to invest in recreational products. The opportunity to receive European funding can make an important contribution to the recreational and tourist industries.

In West-Vlaanderen, we are considered an authority in the field of managing recreational networks. The development of a well-organised database contributes towards an ongoing management improvement. The idea for this project is to share knowledge and work methods with the project partners.

For the supervision of the recreational products, we use a group of volunteers. They carry out their checks at regular times and pass on any comments to us. Within the Accessing the Countryside project, Westtoer would like to learn from the way the English partners manage volunteers.

What we are doing

Westtoer will carry out two large-scale activities within the Accessing the countryside project.

Activity one

During the first operation we want to signpost and extend the main recreational network (also called the green and blue network). This is the backbone of the recreational network and consists of a combination of old railway beddings and towing paths along the rivers and canals. As part of the Accessing the Countryside project we place signposts along the green and blue network.

We have scheduled a meeting with the managers of the towing paths and the old railway beddings in order to explain and gain approval for placing signposts on the green and blue network.

Activity two

The second operation concerns the management of recreational routes and networks. We have developed a database for managing routes and networks. The database is called TRIS or Toeristich – Recreatief Informatie Netwerk (Tourist – Recreational Information Network). As part of the Accessing the Countryside project, the aim is to further refine the TRIS database. This way the module of sponsors will be given some additional functionality which allows them to forward photos and view their work card. The maintenance teams will be equipped with a portable GIS system. There is also an idea to link a management report system to TRIS.

In the spring of 2010 a working group will be established to prepare the second phase of the TRIS database in detail. The results will result in specifications for a tender in the autumn of 2010.

For information on upcoming activities, visit our events page.