Survey of Austrian Bike-Sharing Systems for Touristic Use
While cycling is becoming increasingly popular as a means of everyday transport for short distances, bicycle tourism is also growing strongly. This led to the development of about 40 bike-sharing systems in Austria. In a study carried out by AIT together with MODUL University Vienna for the Federal Ministry for Sustainability and Tourism (BMNT), national and international bike-sharing systems were analysed and, together with experts, success factors and future potential were identified.
The three most important success factors for bike-sharing from a touristic perspective were identified as personal customer care, high quality and adaptation to individual needs, as well as attractive bicycle infrastructure and routes. The experts interviewed within the study emphasised above all an intensive service and customer relationship in order to be able to provide individually tailored offers. Increasingly important for customers is also the possibility of one-way rental for cycling from A to B.
While many aspects of the currently available systems have been rated well, several systems lack in terms of accessories and multilingualism. The biggest challenge, however, is that the Austrian bike-sharing systems form a largely heterogeneous landscape of incompatible systems. A supra-regional concept is missing, which means that the touristic potential in this area remains underutilised.
The potential of cycling related offers in tourism is generally regarded as very large. For the future, a further increase in bike-sharing is expected, which will be promoted by increased professionalization as well as individualized and customer-oriented offers. Further technical developments in the e-bike sector will also help to reach new user groups. At the same time, cooperation is becoming more important in order to improve the overall customer experience. As a visionary solution to this challenge and the identified current shortcomings, a common information and booking system for all bike-sharing systems in Austria or even beyond is proposed.