Cycle Tourism Investment in Victoria’s High Country Region
Located three hours North East of Melbourne, Victoria’s High Country is fast becoming Australia’s premier cycle tourism destination. Boasting an extensive Rail Trail, Mountain Biking and Road Cycling network, the quality and extent of its cycling infrastructure and product is attracting more cycle visitation and yield than any other Australian region.
The High Country is experiencing strong tourism growth ahead of State and regional averages, attracting 3.8 million visitors spending over $1.1 billion annually. Cycle tourism is one of the primary markets fuelling this growth, and the region is responding through the continued development of world-class cycling experiences.
United under a ‘Ride High Country’ brand, the region is looking to innovate and diversify its tourism offering to meet the needs of cycle tourism visitors, and to enable the region to effectively support the growth of its broader tourism market.
Objectives of Program
The Victorian Government has recently invested $12 million towards a 10 year plan to help build on the region’s cycling strengths and make it the premier cycling tourism destination in Australia, funding specific initiatives including:
- Enhancements to the existing Murray to Mountains Rail Trail
- Extension of the Murray to Mountains Rail Trail by linking Beechworth and Yackandandah
- Trail enhancements such as better signage, community hubs, and digital interpretations
- A major marketing campaign to both local and international audiences
- Promoting private sector investment in complementary products and experiences
Expression of Interest for private sector investment (now closed)
The Victorian Government invited Expressions of Interest for unique and innovative proposals that will complement and enhance the cycle tourism experience in Victoria’s Ride High Country. In doing so, the Government is seeking to gain an understanding of market appetite to invest in cycle tourism in the region, and identify a range of projects that will contribute to the region’s growth, through:
- The creation of new and compelling cycle tourism experiences and products;
- The adaption and development of existing sites and businesses towards a cycle tourism focus; and
- The development of new cycle tourism related infrastructure and services.
- The development of tourism infrastructure and services that accommodates the growth in broader tourism market demand. This then feeds in quite well to the next section, which includes concepts that aren’t all bike-specific.
The Victorian Government sought invitee responses to the invitation as outlined in Part A.2 of the EOI Specifications. Projects of considerable merit will be considered for Government project facilitation and co-investment.
Projects that fall within the following categories have been identified as integral to supporting forecast cycle tourism growth in Victoria’s High Country region:
- Accommodation: Unique experiential accommodation; bike hotels; contemporary backpackers’ accommodation, large integrated resort facilities and hotels;
- Bike Hubs and services: Expansion of existing businesses or the creation of new businesses to enhance the cycle tourism experience and create an active precinct where cyclists gather;
- Food and beverage operators: New or expanded food and beverage offerings that are cyclist friendly and located at strategic sites to enhance the cycle visitor experience, e.g. along rail trails, at trail heads or bike hubs;
- Tour operators:Bike hire, shuttle, transport and tour companies that improve existing and/or provide new cycling related services that enhance the cycle visitor experience and increase regional access and dispersal; and travel operators capable of increasing interstate and international visitation through partnerships with local businesses;
- Other enabling projects: Projects that enhance and support: The Ride High Country value proposition; the visitor experience; and aim to grow cycle tourism visitation to the region.
Proposals received are being reviewed by an Assessment Panel, with projects of considerable merit considered for Government project facilitation and co-investment.
For more information please contact RDV Wodonga on 02 6059 0222 or email firstname.lastname@example.org