Allegra tourismus


The market potential of mountain bike tourism

Posted by Darco Cazin on April 13, 2021
Darco Cazin
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I’m on my way home from an interesting trip to the US, meeting and riding with many different players in the mountain bike tourism industry. I learned a lot from ski resort managers, tourism experts, and many more, and there’s one thing that became very clear to me: We do not talk enough about value! 

I want to change that and lead the general discussion of mountain bike tourism in this direction. Henceforth, all my presentations that are scheduled for the next few month will strongly focus on the value and the return on investment of developing a mountain bike destination. If you’re interested in attending a presentation in person, here are the dates of the public events:

But these presentations are not enough. So I will share my thoughts about the value of mountain bike tourism through a range of channels. I’ll start here with some numbers about the current market potential, using our home town Pontresina as a showcase. If you draw different circles around Pontresina, you can estimate how many people live within a different radius.

  • More than 3 million people can reach Pontresina for a reasonable day trip.

  • More than 23 million people can reach Pontresina for a trip that includes at least one overnight stay.

  • More than 76 million people can reach Pontresina within a half day journey.

Most of these people are not mountain bikers. But those who are spend a total of almost 1 million days on their mountain bikes away from home. During these days, they spend more than 180 million Swiss Francs. That’s the market potential for Pontresina. This calculation does not take into account competition, the town’s capacity, or regional income variations. However, it is interesting to note that a market share of 1% would bring almost 2 million Swiss Francs into the town. 

In addition, the above outlined three tiers of population circles also allow us to calculate a recommended investment ratio for a destination. In the case of Pontresina, 48% of investments should be targeted at clients who spend one or two nights. 38% of funds should go into developing an offering for bike riders that stay more than two nights. This investment ratio varies greatly from destination to destination.

Of course the market potential is only the starting point of a discussion about the value of mountain bike tourism. Time to dig deeper. Stay tuned…


Topics: destination, economic impact, value, market potential