Government funding of $8 million to maintain and enhance the Great Rides of New Zealand will help ensure the trails are delivering the best possible visitor experience, says Evan Freshwater, Manager Nga Haerenga The New Zealand Cycle Trail Inc. (NZCT).
The government announced criteria today for the $8 million contestable fund over four years.
“This new funding will be used to maintain and improve safety and quality across this world-class network of 23 Great Rides,” says Mr Freshwater.
“For example, the fund will allow trail managers to realign sections of trail where the gradient may exceed what is desirable for their riders, improve the trail surface or build bridges or boardwalks. The funding can also be used to make repairs after storm damage.”
Mr Freshwater says the 23 Great Rides span the length of the country and range from gentle family rides along scenic coastal cycle trails to remote off-road trails that take visitors deep into the great outdoors.
He says the cycle trails have proved a catalyst for new businesses and are creating jobs and wealth in communities throughout the country.
“The Great Rides are encouraging visitors to travel more widely and do more while they are in New Zealand, which is aligned with Tourism 2025, the tourism industry’s new growth framework.
“Tourism New Zealand research shows that around 4% of international holiday visitors do some sort of cycling while they are in New Zealand and that on average, cycling visitors spend more than other international visitors.”