As the winter season seems to become more and more unpredictable around the world and with 2015 being the warmest year ever recorded with globally 0,14 degree Celsius above the warmest years in 2005, 2010 and 2014, some alpine destinations already reconsidered their strategic investments into mountain biking years ago.
Winter is still most important for the (tourism) economy in the alps and driving high investments in infrastructure. But especially after the “almost no natural snow December 2015”, the question on a lot of people’s mind is, whether many of these investments are sustainable with the climate predictions ahead. It seems that less and less snow will continue to challenge the ski resorts and winter destinations.
Mountain biking in spring, summer, autumn and also in winter is constantly picking up momentum in alpine destinations and if well planned helps to generate value all season long.
The today leading alpine mountain biking destinations realized years ago that a strategic, stakeholder involving and target group oriented masterplan and a sustainable, well developed trail- and service network helps them to create business, spread the risk and preserve nature.
As more and more destinations and public interest groups jump on the train and start investing in their mountain biking infrastructure, the market is raising more and more media awareness. Some examples:
Swiss television SRF reports about recent value generating developments in Lenzerheide, mountain biking development plans in the Kanton Wallis (which started last year by analyzing the potential in the first seven Wallis destinations in a very strategic approach with our MTB Agent-App) and shows the concerns of landscape conservation agencies especially for new downhill park developments (Video in German).
Local projects invest quiet some money to keep up with the “trail trend”. Sustainable trail design and trail development as taught by Allegra Tourismus is evolving more and more. Sölden just involved more than 40 of their trailworkers in a Trail Building School held by Allegra Tourismus with Chris Bernhardt, Lukas Häusler and Patrick Koller. The purpose of this effort is to ensure quality and substainability of the trails to reduce maintenance costs by building better, more attractive and environmental friendly.
With the ongoing controversy in Austria on which forest roads and trails a mountain biker is allowed to ride, there is a lot of media attention. Riding your bike in Austria is awesome, but there are a lot of discussions and legal issues still to handle. Compared to other foreign destinations, there is a lot of work and effort needed to foster an open minded bike culture in the public. Initiatives like Naturfreunde’s Freie Fahrt, Wienerwald Trails, the Tyrolean Mountainbike Modell 2.0 including the SöldenBikeRepublic project or Austria’s first Mountainbike conference with our founder Darco Cazin as speaker and trailday expert will help to develop the mountain bike sport further. Hopefully towards a more open and including way.
THE ALPS AWARD
The AlpNet-Network currently unites European tourism partners from France, Switzerland, Italy and Austria. Its aim is to develop and boost sustainable, all-year round Alpine tourism with a high measure of value for money.
A committee of well-known tourism experts recently awarded the best mountain biking projects in the European Alps and triggered a lot of media coverage. South tyrol’s “Sellaronda Bike Hero” won the Award in its first year. graubündenBIKE, one of our full service mountainbike development projects we are happy to partner with for many years, succeeded as runner up and Top5 project.
Your destination develops – what would our experts do?
Allegra Tourismus recommends to start your bike development strategically, with stakeholder meetings, input from outside, masterplanning and a touristic potential analysis. Even if you are already in the process of building a trail network, it pays off to get your strategy, business modell, masterplan and the quality of the trails being built checked.
Download our roadmap for new or existing mountainbike projects and if you like we are happy to hear more about your challenges and development plans.