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Published on : Tuesday, May 17, 2016
Budget 2016 will provide $25 million in additional funding over the next four years to ensure the New Zealand Cycle Trail, Nga Haerenga continues to offer a world-class visitor experience, Prime Minister and Tourism Minister John Key announced.
The investment is part of a $45 million tourism package in Budget 2016 to further support tourism’s contribution to economic and job growth in regions across New Zealand.
“The New Zealand Cycle Trail has already been extremely successful in attracting high-value visitors to the regions and getting them to stay longer, with regional economies experiencing positive spinoffs such as a growth in jobs,” says Mr Key.
“This new funding of $25 million will support work to connect some Great Rides so communities can benefit from visitors spending more time on trails, as well as linking visitors to regional tourist destinations.
“This funding builds on government investment of nearly $60 million to date in developing and maintaining the trail network, on top of co-funding from local communities.
Mr Key also announced details of how the new funding will be used to link trails in the Central Otago region, where there are four existing Great Rides.
“The proposal to create a 536 km continuous cycle trail network by linking four existing Central Otago Great Rides – the Queenstown Trail, the Otago Central Rail Trail, the Roxburgh Gorge Trail and the Clutha Gold Trail – is the type of enhancement to the Great Rides we want to encourage.
“The government has agreed in principle to support this collaboration by the Central Lakes Trust and the Otago Community Trust with half of the funding required for the project – around $13 million – subject to application requirements being met.”
Other regions interested in connecting or expanding existing Great Rides will be able to apply for funding, with communities and local councils required to co-fund local projects.
“Tourism brings a range of benefits to local businesses and communities and the New Zealand Cycle Trail is playing an important role in attracting visitors to help regions realise their tourism potential,” Mr Key says.