CO reaps rewards
More than 250,000 people used cycle trails around Central Otago last year, generating around $17 million in economic benefits for local communities, Waitaki MP and Parliamentary Private Secretary for Tourism Jacqui Dean says.
The figures are part of a report, compiled by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, released on Monday by Prime Minister and Minister of Tourism John Key.
‘‘The Evaluation of the New Zealand Cycle Trail report, calculates revenue generated by trail users and estimates that domestic riders, around Central Otago, spent $6,997,406 in 2015 and international cyclists spent $10,064,809.
‘‘That’s a total of $17,062,215 in economic benefits, with the report pointing to accommodation, activities and attractions, retail, cafe´, restaurant and bar spending attracting the biggest focus. The figures are hugely exciting for communities around the region.’’
The four Central Otago trails – Roxburgh Gorge, Otago Central Rail Trail, Clutha Gold and Queenstown Trails were going from strength to strength and had the potential to grow even further.
Growth was all the more likely with plans, announced in May, for the Government and community providers to fund $26.3 million to combine Central Otago’s four existing trails into one monster network spanning 536 kilometres.
Newly elected Central Otago mayor Tim Cadogan with wife Linda at their Clyde home on Saturday.