The Austrian region of Tirol, bordering Germany and Italy, is famed for its mountainous scenery, with ever growing cycling opportunities - both on and off road. During the UCI 2019 Road World Championships in Yorkshire, the UCI awarded the UCI Bike Region label to the Tirol, alongside Copenhagen, Glasgow and Paris.
In 2018, the region hosted the 2018 UCI Road World Championships, the epicentre of which was Innsbruck, the region’s capital. Underscoring the powerful impact of hosting this major event, it is estimated that it provided a €39.8m boost to the local economy and supported 720 jobs. In total over 500,000 people attended the UCI Road World Championships. Of the 100,000 international visitors who travelled to the event, 85% suggested they would likely return to Tirol for a future holiday, while 60% of TV viewers said they would like to visit the region. These statistics highlight a clear link between hosting an event and developing visitor economy.
Cycle tourism is a major priority for the Tirol, with dedicated hubs for mountain biking and road cycling available on the official tourism website. Promotion of the region’s impressive long-distance cycle paths in the region - such as the Innradweg - is a priority. New bridges are being built to improve connections for cyclists needing to cross the rivers.
Tirol by Bike
The region is dedicated to promoting cycling in all forms, with a regional cycling strategy in place that has the headline ambition of reaching a 14% modal share for bike trips by 2020.
Today, across the region, 11% of trips are made by bike, and the authorities are investing in infrastructure, training and education programmes, road safety campaigns and cycling promotion events. As part of the ‘Tirol by Bike’ campaign, inhabitants are encouraged to opt for the bicycle for their daily mobility needs. Each year, €60 million is devoted to cycling infrastructure, while €12m is invested in cycle projects around cycle touring, training and safety.
“We are delighted that by hosting the UCI Road World Championships a year ago we have given a great boost to cycling in Tirol,” said Georg Spazier, CEO of the Innsbruck-Tirol 2018 Organising Committee. “The fact that after the huge success of the World Championships Tirol has now been awarded the UCI Bike Region Label underlines the sustainable legacy of the event and the shared effort made by all of the stakeholders involved.”
Vice Governor Josef Geisler added: “The UCI Road World Championships were the starting point for a major cycling offensive in Tirol. So far, we have built or renovated 125km of cycle paths in Tirol. Many other projects already exist. In total, we currently have a network of over 1000km of cycle paths, 6000km of mountain bike routes and 300km of single trails in Tirol. We are pleased to receive the UCI Bike Region Label. This shows once again that Tirol is a cycling country - in the mountains and in the valleys.”
Ensuring the next generation is equipped with necessary cycling skills, local schools provide obligatory cycling education. For adults, courses on mobility and road safety are also available to support those wishing to cycle more often.
For more on cycling in Tirol visit: https://www.tyrol.com/