13 percent compared to the previous year, 70 percent since 2018 – the Epic Bikepark Leogang is growing and growing

Monday, 13.11.2023

13 percent compared to the previous year, 70 percent since 2018 – the Epic Bikepark Leogang is growing and growing

The Epic Bikepark Leogang and the Saalfelden Leogang tourist region are continuing their unbroken upward trend in mountain bike tourism in 2023.

With almost 80,000 “Mountain Biker Days” (equivalent to Skier Days), the Leoganger Bergbahnen cable car company recorded an increase of 13 percent compared to the previous year. If you look at the development since 2018, the huge tourism potential of mountain biking becomes even more evident.

When the Leoganger Bergbahnen and the Saalfelden Leogang tourist board set the course for mountain biking over 20 years ago and created the Epic Bikepark Leogang – now one of the most renowned bike parks in Europe – mountain biking as a popular sport was still in its infancy. Today’s numbers show that the Austrian mountain bike pioneers had the right instinct back then.

Leogang’s Mountain bike tourism accounted for around 13 % of total turnover in the 2022/2023 financial year - more than all other summer activities combined. What may not sound like much compared to the top dog, skiing, is quickly put into perspective when you take into account the number of lifts in operation, transport capacities and kilometers of slopes. In 2023 alone, the mountain bike operations recorded a 13 % increase in Mountain Biker Days compared to the previous year. Furthermore, the Online Bikebonus, a sunny summer and a perfect autumn ensured strong sales growth.  

A look at the recent past also confirms the upswing in mountain biking. If you look at the last five years, the number of Mountain Biker Days has increased by as much as 70 percent. The number of cable car rides in the bike park has also seen steep growth over the past ten years: from around 150,000 (2014) to over 260,000 (2023) rides per year.

Through targeted brand positioning and strengthening of the off-seasons, the number of hotel overnight stays has also grown to around one million per year, of which almost 50 percent are already accounted for by the summer season. In addition to the hotels, the local bike schools are also registering a growing number of inquiries, too – this is particularly noticeable regarding tours and trainings for good to advanced riders. Beginner courses are mainly attended by families looking for a counterpart or substitute to winter sports.


Marketing: Events, influencers & partners  
Although these figures are cause for celebration in Saalfelden Leogang, they don’t come as surprise. Rather, they are the result of targeted development and a sustainable appreciation of mountain bike tourism. The well-developed infrastructure of lines & trails, mountain railroads, hotels, stores, etc. is tailored to bike guests, while the constant further development of the offer is part of the mountain bike hotspot's DNA. In 2023, this included the soft opening of the AlteSchmiede Trail, the extension of the bike season until the beginning of November and the newly introduced Online Bikebonus, a dynamic pricing system that has been well received by bike guests and has been used many times. Saalfelden Leogang was able to achieve a significant increase in Mountain Biker Days, particularly in the early and late season.

The local hotel industry has also adapted to this and invested more in services for mountain bikers, such as lockable bike cellars, tools for hire and a laundry service for dirty bike clothing. Some hotels also offer their guests their own bike rental service and in some cases even have their own bike guides who provide tour suggestions directly from the hotel. 

In addition to marketing measures with extraordinary appeal, such as hosting the Mountain Bike World Championships in 2012, 2020 and 2028 or the annual Mountain Bike World Cup in Saalfelden Leogang, the Austrian bike destination repeatedly generates a lot of attention with targeted individual measures, most recently with an all-female edit featuring the leader of FMB World Women’s Ranking, Patricia Druwen. In addition to this and numerous other forms of influencer activations, the activation of their partners also plays a major role for Saalfelden Leogang, best showcased with the aforementioned video clip, as the ladies were riding on the Hot Shots Fired by GoPro Line.