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.

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