Now in its third year, Switzerland Tourism’s 100% Women initiative aims to provide more opportunities for women in outdoor sports and inspire them to get involved in new sporting pursuits. Previously focusing on hiking and mountaineering, 2023 will be the year it focuses on promoting cycling to a female audience. Events in the pipeline include a national gravel biking challenge, sports challenges for national and international female ambassadors, and a new online platform promoting female-only packages, which will launch on 8 March, International Women’s Day.
Women are gaining ground in cycling; the first Women’s Tour de Suisse kicked off in 2021 and the Women’s Tour de France finally took place in its entirety in 2022, after a break of several years. According to a 2022 survey, a total of 1.25 million women in Switzerland regularly cycle or go mountain biking in their free time (cycling: 1.159 million/mountain biking: 255,000). For men, the figure is even higher at 2.057 million (cycling: 1.314 million/mountain biking: 743,000). This year, Switzerland Tourism hopes to help get even more women from all around the world into cycling, by promoting competitive female-only cycling packages to Switzerland.
According to a study by the Swiss Federal Office for the Environment, Transport, Energy and Communications, cycling tourism in Switzerland generated annual sales of three billion Swiss francs in 2021. With more and more women wanting to experience sporting adventures in nature, Switzerland Tourism intends to tap into the great potential of active and aspiring female cyclists. The 100% Women initiative will showcase Switzerland’s diversity as a cycling destination both nationally and internationally, demonstrating the accessibility and appeal of its many roads and trails, whether for road cycling, mountain biking, gravel biking or e-biking.
In 2021 and 2022, Switzerland Tourism has not only succeeded in getting women excited about mountain sports with its 100% Women initiative, Peak Challenge and creating a world record for the longest female rope team but has also encouraged tour operators to develop female-only packages. This has strengthened the position of Switzerland as a holiday destination for women.
On 8 March, International Women’s Day, Switzerland Tourism will launch over 50 new female-only cycling packages for 2023, in partnership with key Swiss tourism partners. These packages will be published on the 100% Women’s Travel Hub and will include beginner cyclist, training, cycle and flop, e-biking, technical and racing packages, which can either last one day or multiple days. All these packages will be bookable immediately and will take place over the Swiss cycling season, which begins in spring.
The 100% Women initiative is also being supported by cycling industry leaders, Swiss Cycling, the National Cycling Federation, bicycle brand BMC and outdoor activity platform Komoot. Using a simple route planner and ‘collections’, outdoor enthusiasts can select, plan and share new adventures. With recommendations from the cycling community, Komoot is an ideal source of inspiration for cycling tours and getaways.
Throughout the 2023 summer season, several activities will also be organised across Switzerland to showcase women in cycling on a global scale, such as the ‘100% Women Gravel Challenge’, which will welcome professional female cyclists. In addition, famous female ambassadors from Switzerland and abroad will take part in their own cycling challenge.
About Switzerland Tourism
Switzerland Tourism is the Swiss national tourist board responsible for promoting Switzerland as a premier holiday and business destination. Headquartered in Zurich, Switzerland Tourism is present in 22 markets worldwide, employing around 270 people. Its UK and Ireland office is in Holborn, London.