GENEVA, July 13 (Xinhua) -- Suisse Rando announced on Monday that 44 percent of the Swiss population aged between 15 and 74 participate in hiking activities, making it the confederation's most popular sport followed by cycling.
Representing some 2.7 million Swiss hikers, Suisse Rando's 2013 study reflects trekking's rise in popularity since 2008 not only for the native population but also for the 300,000 tourists who come to Switzerland to enjoy the country's 65,000 km-long network of trails, of which over a third are located in mountainous areas.
Figures reveal that trekking is most popular in German-speaking Switzerland (46 percent), while both French and Italian speaking regions registered a 41 percent participation.
According to the study, the Swiss hike on average 20 times a year and spend 3 hours walking per outing, totalling an annual average of 60 hours.
Figures also indicate that each hiker spends around 45 CHF per outing, resulting in some 2.5 billion CHF being generated annually through the use of public transport, food and drinks provisioning and accommodation.
The study furthermore reveals that the seasons have little influence on walking habits, as 75 percent of those partaking in this outdoor activity also hike in winter.
Among the incentives to go hiking cited in the Suisse Rando's report is the proximity of nature, keeping healthy and the sense of relaxation which ensues from the natural environment.
The study nevertheless found that abandoned rubbish, missing or damaged signposts and motorised traffic were the main cons which had been voiced by hikers.