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Verbier creates e-bike festival to boost summer tourism

Faced with the impact of climate change, traditional mountain ski resorts are increasingly looking for innovative ways to attract more visitors in summer. Verbier in the canton of Valais is one of them. The resort, which is so far mostly known for its ski slopes, will host the first edition of a new e-bike festival from 15 to 18 August 2019. The organisers claim the event will become the world’s biggest 100% e-bike event. Open to all ages and levels of riders including total beginners, the “Verbier E-bike Festival” will include activities dedicated to road, downhill and cross-country disciplines. All participants will be supplied with e-bikes if they do not have their own already, giving everyone a chance to test the latest e-bike models. 

The e-bike market is the fastest growing segment of the bike industry with a growth rate of + 100% in 5 years and 1,7 M e-Bikes sold in Europe last year. New powerful players coming from different industries (ex. BOSCH, Peugeot, Panasonic, Rossignol, etc.) and experts expect a sales parity for e-bikes and traditional bikes by 2026. 

Besides the e-bike testing opportunities offering the latest gear from over 30 bike brands, the four-day event next month in Verbier will include a Rando Gourmande with culinary delights and traditions, a discovery tour consisting of half or full-day rides on a variety of bike trails, scenic races in 38km, 66 km, or 100km formats, as well as kids races and animations. 

“Verbier is well known for its winter activities and this event aims at making people discover the resort in summer”, said Nicolas Hale-Woods, Freeride World Tour & Verbier E-bike Festival CEO. He revealed: “Our goal is to gather 2'500 participants for the 1st edition and reach 10'000 by 2023. The ultimate idea is to leave a legacy to Verbier through e-bike tracks and make e-biking the preferred means of transportat in the mountains. By 2026 we want to attract as many tourists in summer with e-MTB than with skiing in winter in Verbier." 

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