Allegra tourismus


Why Mountain Bike Tourism?!

Posted by Darco Cazin on January 01, 2023
Darco Cazin
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Why Mountain bike tourism?!                                                                                   

Cause it is worth it! Strong argument? True. So, let me explain.

The rise of bikes

The success of mountain biking as a driver for summer tourism is far too often put into question although the market is growing constantly. Thanks to Covid the sector gained massive speed last year. In Switzerland the numbers of bikes sold, were 38 percent higher in the pandemic year than the previous year. The sales figures also show a strong increase of E-Bikes. This trend is also manifesting in other European countries. In general, bikes are getting more popular in our society because of three important megatrends. The megatrend neo ecology, which describes a higher sense of responsibility for our environment, the new mobility, that depicts current dynamics in mobility and urbanization, that displays a rapid rise in the number of people living in urban areas.

Market potential of mountain bike tourism

The market of mountain bike tourism is far away from being saturated. In general, mountain bike tourism has a huge potential to balance winter and summer business as some pioneer mountain biking destinations are presenting incredible numbers from their last summer season like the Bikerepublic Sölden  or the canton of Grisons in Switzerland. Mountain bike tourism is still in the second stage of a classic market cycle. This means, now is the perfect time to launch mountain bike tourism in your destination. 

Mountain bike tourism starts with a business model

To be successful in mountain bike tourism you needs a systemic approach. One of the first steps is a proper business model. It determines the framework to develop a product - no matter if you are a destination, a hotel or a mountain railway. The business model, basically, defines who the target group is and what kind of needs it has. Based on these findings, action items can be established, cost drivers and income streams calculated. The economic returns are triggered at different service providers (lodging, catering, transportation services and many others) whereas the main investment occurs during planning, construction and maintenance of mountain bike trails. These bases are necessary for fundamental considerations about potential users, the necessary assets and the ROI function in mountain bike tourism. To spill the beans, to be successful in mountain bike tourism you need to develop a business model.  

Economic value of mountain bike tourism

To illustrate the economic value of mountain bike tourism we show you some numbers about the current market potential, using our hometown 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, accessibility 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.

Developing mountain bike tourism together with experts

So, one argument can be strongly supported: There is a huge potential of mountain bike tourism that is growing every year. To be successful it needs a well-prepared development plan.   

Allegra has developed successful trail-based destinations since 2003 and remains actively involved in shaping bike-related tourism. We are considered a pioneer in the field of mountain bike tourism and love to share our knowledge. That’s why we’ve created an online course, that allows international destinations to develop their customized 5-year action plan to become a profitable mountain bike destination.

Interested? Here’s more information on the course and how you can get in touch with us.

Allegra Services


Topics: mountain bike, allegra