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An electric wave is rolling towards the Alps

Crossing the Alps on an e-bike – Tourism industry sees great potential

Crossing the Alps, either by foot or by bike, is one of most scenic endeavors one can undertake, and one of the most athletically challenging. With an e-bike, crossing the Alps by bike becomes a fascinating travel experience, even for the less athletic among us.


More fun, less pain: that describes the impression of many people who take their first ride on an e-mountain bike. Those who want to can definitely still athletically exert themselves on an e-bike, but when faced with especially steep inclines or long ascents, they will always have the option of combining their muscle strength with the power of the e-motor and battery at just the push of button. This fact is complemented by yet another a-ha experience: With electric support, you can cover a larger distance in the same time. At the end of the day, bikers on e-MTBs also have a feeling of athletic achievement, but with a significantly higher number on the odometer.


These qualities also make e-mountain bikes well suited to transalpine tours. Since Uli Stanciu, the founder and long-time publisher of Bike magazine, set this trend together with some pioneers in the bike scene in the early 1990s, dozens of new bike routes across the Alps have been opened up. In the tourism industry as well, transalpine tours have long been bestsellers, which has led to a correspondingly wide range of tours being offered. Some providers offer a guided transalpine light tour, or extremely difficult variants that include daily ascents of several thousand meters. Those who want to can even book a gourmet transalpine tour, in which participants experience adventure on a bike during the day and enjoy star chefs and leading hotels in the evening.


In the future, travel operators’ catalogues will increasingly include transalpine tours on an e-bike. Currently, for many providers, these kinds of offerings are still in their early stages. For example, this year Alps Bike Tours, a market leader in this segment, is offering two MTB transalpine tours specifically for e-bikers for the first time. In comparison, this year the company’s guides will lead more than a hundred conventional bike tours across the Alps.


In areas in which tourism is strong, e-biking in the Alps is also being treated as a very promising theme of the future. For example, this is the case in South Tyrol’s Kronplatz region, the tourism partner of the Eurobike and the venue for this year’s Eurobike Media Days. “In general, long distance routes are becoming more and more popular for mountain bikes. E-bikes make a very important contribution by expanding this target group, as they enable bikers who are not quite as fit to complete longer routes. Furthermore, e-bikers also open up new routes. As a target group, they don’t always need the most technically demanding trail, but rather want scenic routes for which you don’t necessarily need an e-MTB,” says Artur Costabiei, director of the Kronplatz tourism association.


E-MTBs will be an important theme at the Eurobike, the leading trade show for the international bicycle industry, which takes place from August 30 to September 2 in Friedrichshafen. At the Eurobike, 1400 exhibitors will present innovative equipment trends for the coming season. E-bike tourism is also represented in the trade show’s accompanying program, like at the Eurobike Travel Talk on September 1, at which tourism experts will exchange views on new trends for bike vacationers. Especially exciting for bike fans will be the special “Holiday on Bike” show on the Eurobike’s public day, September 2: about 70 exhibitors from the tourism segment will present their vacation ideas for 2018.


The first three days of the Eurobike are reserved for industry visitors. On the last day of the show (Saturday, September 2), Eurobike Festival Day will also open its doors to bike fans in the general public. Admission will cost 14 euros for the whole day. Additional information about the program is available at www.eurobike-show.com, www.eurobike-festivaldays.com and www.facebook.com/eurobike.tradeshow .

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