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Rising numbers of hikers and bikers boost Swiss economy

Almost 8% of Swiss residents over the age of 15 rode mountain bikes. Keystone / Laurent Gillieron

Numbers engaging in outdoor activities like walking, cycling or mountain biking continued to rise in Switzerland in 2019, the Federal Office for Roads (ASTRA) has reported. This is also good news for the economy.

Some 57% of Swiss residents labelled themselves as walkers in 2019, going on an average of 15 walks per year for an average of three hours each, ASTRA said in a report External linkpublished on Tuesday.

This amounted to a total of 200 million hours of walking for pleasure throughout the year, ASTRA said. People spent an average of CHF60 ($65.1) per day doing this, pumping a total of CHF3.6 billion ($3.9 billion) into the economy.

ASTRA also noted that 42% of people over the age of 15 cycled. Some 2.4 million went on cycle tours, and a tenth of those used e-bikes from time to time. In total, Swiss and foreign cyclists contributed a total of CHF3 million ($3.3 million) to the economy.

While those in German-speaking Switzerland cycled more overall, mountain biking was more popular in the French- and Italian-speaking parts of the country.

Almost 8% of Swiss residents over the age of 15 rode mountain bikes – that’s over half a million people.

A mountain bike trip saw average spending of CHF41 ($44.5), which came to a total of more than CHF300 million ($325.4 million) for the year. Mountain bikers generated around CHF400,000 ($433,900) solely through overnight stays in hotels and campsites.

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