Austria intensifies cycling campaign in 2023 by focusing on gravel bike

Austria’s national office of tourism Österreich Werbung has centred its marketing campaign around cycling for a fifth year

While integrating the campaign into its year-round communication “the Austrian Way”, ÖW also targets for the first time users of gravel biking.

Earlier this year, Austria’s national tourism organisation Österreich Werbung (ÖW) launched its cycling campaign for 2023.

Under the guiding idea of the ÖW’s full-year communication, cycling holidays are being promoted this year under the thematic “the Austrian Way”. The campaign clearly focuses on providing cycling experiences, be it on a trekking bike, mountain bike or – for the first time this year – on a gravel bike.

“Cycling has gained enormous popularity in recent years and more and more people want to combine their new hobby with their holiday,” says Astrid Steharnig-Staudinger, Managing Director of the Austrian National Tourist Office. “Austria has an excellent network of cycle paths that lead through the country’s impressive nature. This year we would again like to share this treasure with the growing cycling community.”

Cycling holidays as a lasting trend

Cycling holidays and cycling as a holiday activity have established themselves as a trend in recent years, also due to the Corona pandemic.

“From the ÖW holidaymaker surveys, we know that about 15% of our guests took a cycling holiday in the summer of 2022,” Steharnig-Staudinger points out the positive development. “Before the Corona pandemic, the figure was still 11%. Furthermore, 28% of our guests have cycled at least once by bike, mountain bike, e-bike, or road bike. This figure was 21% in 2019.”

A thematic focus

In addition to the well-known thematic focus on cycling tours and mountain biking, this year for the first time the trend sport of gravel biking will be the focus of the campaign. Cycling with gravel bikes has gained enormous popularity in recent years. This kind of bicycle combines the easy use of a road bike with the robustness and tyres of a mountain bike, making longer cycling tours possible even on gravel paths.

“Our multifaceted landscapes are predestined for gravel biking tours,” stresses Steharnig-Staudinger when summarising the gravel bike focus of the campaign. “In the course of the campaign, we have developed an Austria-wide tour through all provinces together with the provincial tourism organisations, which will be promoted as “Gravel Austria”.

A dedicated page has been created especially to show available routes, accommodation, nature experiences and sights along the way. This will enable guests to experience an even more authentic and multi-faceted gravel experience,”

Themes and slogans for the cycling campaign were chosen with a modern and humorous touch, highlighting situations from the daily life. “We decided to fundamentally set a new focus within the framework of our year-round communication by combining strong images with everyday terms from the digital reality of life, such as “follower” and “workflow”. In this way, we want to set holidays in Austria apart from other destinations,” adds Martina Bednarik, CMO of Österreich Werbung,

Four target markets in Europe

The 2023 cycling campaign is targeting four cycling-enthusiastic local markets in Germany, the Netherlands, the Czech Republic and Slovakia.

Together with eight provincial tourism organisations (Burgenland, Carinthia, Lower Austria, Upper Austria, Salzburg, Styria, Tyrol and Vorarlberg), ÖW is promoting Austria as a cycling country under this year’s year-round communication “Holidays in Austrian”.

The Upper Austrian bicycle manufacturer KTM, known far beyond the borders, could be won as a business partner.

“We are proud that we were able to win eight regional tourism authorities and the innovative Austrian company KTM as partners this year,” says Steharnig-Staudinger. “Together we will manage to position Austria as a cycling country in an authentic and unique way in the local markets that are so important for us and to leave a lasting impression in the relevant communities.”

Bednarik adds: “With its new message, the cycling campaign is intended to attract attention and trigger enthusiasm. Austria is already a well-known cycling destination, but with the new form of advertising we are trying to position ourselves even more strongly within our target group and attract new guests.”

The campaign is then implemented, firstly, by using digital communication targeting potential guests in their everyday lives as well as approaching target groups through topic-specific special interest channels.

“Following the awareness phase, we will then go the next step and intensify our advertising in of defined lead products and regions from all over Austria, in order to bring potential guests even closer to the diverse cycling activities,” Bednarik concludes.

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