Bikes boost tourism

The Gazette (Derwent Valley) - - NEWS - ANNE MATHER

MAY­DENA Bike Park is con­tin­u­ing to help pro­pel the state’s tourism in­dus­try for­ward, new data shows.

The lat­est sur­vey of vis­i­tors to Tas­ma­nia shows tourism growth is pedal pow­ered.

Bike-re­lated tourism showed the largest growth of all sec­tors in the past fi­nan­cial year, up by 21.5 per cent.

Bikes shared the podium with two other top per­form­ers: fish­ing-re­lated tourism and vis­i­tors seek­ing an ex­pe­ri­ence with indige­nous cul­ture, both of which grew by 16.8 per cent.

The Tourism Tas­ma­nia sur­vey of in­ter­state and in­ter­na­tional vis­i­tor ac­tiv­i­ties shows cy­cling and moun­tain bike rid­ing have at­tracted nearly 20,000 more vis­i­tors in the past four years — up from 27,899 in 2013-14 to 46,260 dur­ing 2017-18.

The bike-led stam­pede has ac­ti­vated re­gional com­mu­ni­ties across the state, where the spin-offs have reached fur­ther than the bike tracks.

Hot spots of the bik­ing revo­lu­tion have been the May­dena Bike Park in the Derwent Val­ley and the Blue Derby Net­work in the state’s North­East, with the first stage of the Wild Mersey Moun­tain Bike Trails in the North-West open­ing this month.

The vis­i­tors sur­vey shows the bike growth has been in both tra­di­tional cy­cling (up 12.1 per cent last year) and moun­tain bik­ing (up 10.4 per cent).

May­dena Bike Park manag­ing di­rec­tor Si­mon French said the tracks, which opened in Jan­uary, were on tar­get to have 30,000 vis­i­tors in the first year of op­er­a­tion.

“There is a real buzz around moun­tain bike rid­ing, the growth is only go­ing to get bet­ter,” he said.

Tourism In­dus­try Coun­cil Tas­ma­nia chief ex­ec­u­tive Luke Martin said Tas­ma­nia and the Derwent Val­ley had ex­celled in de­vel­op­ing niche at­trac­tions.

“Now we are per­ceived as a des­ti­na­tion with a more di­verse range of ex­pe­ri­ences than we have in the past,” he said.

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