Austria one step closer to a National MTB Strategy ahead of IMBA Europe Summit 2024 meeting

12 April 2024

Austria one step closer to a National MTB Strategy ahead of IMBA Europe Summit 2024 meeting

Political will is getting behind the formulation of a national mountain biking strategy in Austria, as the 2024 IMBA Europe Summit in Mödling is set to play a crucial role in the crystallization of the next steps for the mountain biking sector.

On April 10, the Austrian Council of Ministers announced the development of a national mountain bike strategy for Austria. Vice Chancellor Werner Kogler reasoned that the lack of a regulated and unified framework limited the capacity of the Austrian economy to take full advantage of the mountain bike usage of Austria, as according to a recent study by the Österreichische Bundesforste AG, 12.5% of the Austrian population uses mountain bikes in their leisure time.

Although details are still unknown and are in work in progress, the Council of Ministers identified several points that the national strategy must follow:

  • It must meet the current demand for mountain bike trails and routes.
  • It promotes the utilisation of potential business and tourism locations.
  • It expands the local recreational offers for the population.
  • It takes into account the aspects of nature conservation and the protection of Austrian forests, while at the same time respecting existing land and property rights.

The nine Austrian federal states and four ministries also signalled that they are willing to allocate funds to finance the strategy, with a national coordination office set to open to oversee the strategy.

IMBA Europe brings international expertise to Austria

The 2024 IMBA Europe Summit will provide an excellent opportunity for the Austrian mountain biking strategy to make a step towards its final form. Participants from all over Europe will bring their experience and expertise to Mödling to share with the Austrian federal MTB coordinators, in a bid to help take the next steps and share the best practices that can influence the future mountain biking strategy. The panel discussions aim to serve as a source of inspiration and emphasise the importance of taking existing models and experiences into account when developing future-oriented strategies.

Learn more about the IMBA Europe Summit 2024 May 22-24 in Mödling, Vienna Woods here.