Tar­get to quadru­ple cy­cle­way tourists

Central Otago Mirror - - CENTRAL NEWS - By MARY-JO TO­HILL

New Zealand’s cy­cle trail could soon have its very own in­ter­na­tional tourism des­ig­na­tion, and Cen­tral Otago and Queen­stown Lakes op­er­a­tors need to col­lab­o­rate to get in on the act, NZ Cy­cle Trail Nga Haerenga pro­gramme man­ager John Dunn says. In an in­ter­view be­fore his talk at a cy­cling tourism work­shop in Alexan­dra last week, Mr Dunn told the Mir­ror that Tourism New Zealand was look­ing to pro­mote cy­cling as a spe­cial sec­tor, to give it a niche mar­ket sim­i­lar to lux­ury cruises and win­ery tours. With grow­ing in­ter­na­tional in­ter­est in the coun­try’s cy­cle net­work, this cam­paign would take place over the next two years, and could tar­get air­lines with high cargo al­lowances. How­ever, col­lab­o­ra­tion be­tween all the trails was key, Mr Dunn told 50 tourism op­er­a­tors from the re­gion at the work­shop. ‘‘All three trails in this area . . . have grabbed the op­por­tu­nity – but suc­cess is de­pen­dent on the op­er­a­tors bring­ing their knowl­edge across and shar­ing it.’’ The Gov­ern­ment had in­vested about $50 mil­lion in a na­tional project, from which Otago’s three trails had at­tracted about $6.4m in fund­ing. Mr Dunn said it was a rel­a­tively small in­vest­ment for a po­ten­tially large re­turn. A re­cent sur­vey of peo­ple leav­ing the coun­try showed that the num­ber who had cy­cled while vis­it­ing had dou­bled since 2009, and these fig­ures were expected to quadru­ple with the com­ple­tion of other tracks.


No bang: This could be as good as Cromwell’s an­nual fire­works dis­play will get this year, ac­cord­ing to Cromwell and Dis­tricts Pro­mo­tions Group pres­i­dent Adrian Somerville.


Pedal power: Auck­land brand agency Brian Richards Ltd’s Ju­lian Smith, Cen­tral Otago Tourism prod­uct de­vel­op­ment man­ager Michelle Kin­ney, New Zealand Cy­cle Trail Nga Haerenga pro­gramme man­ager John Dunn and Cen­tral Otago dis­trict mayor Tony Lep­per.

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