Bikes boost tourism
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.