Growing cycle tourism in the North East22/03/2021
Cyclists will soon have even more of a reason to visit North East Victoria with several exciting cycle tourism projects receiving funding through the Victorian Government’s Ride High Country Fund.
The $1.95 million Ride High Country Fund was established to encourage businesses to invest in cycle tourism opportunities as a way to grow visitation to the North East region, in turn increasing demand for new and existing businesses.
The Ovens Valley Motor Inn, which is located at the opening of the Murray to Mountain Rail Trail in Bright, has received a grant towards a $1 million project to turn the existing 25 room motel into a bike hotel and hub.
The redevelopment will also include a retail and tour component, restaurant and bar, swimming pool, a dedicated cycle wellness centre and a cycle training and recovery space.
Other successful applicants of the Ride High Country Fund include:
- The Ride Republic Cycle Hub, which plans to convert part of the Old Beechworth Gaol into a cycling hub with retail space for other cycle tourism focussed businesses and a bike shop.
- The Place at Bright, which will be transformed into a cycling hub with 10 new cabins and bike facilities.
- Treat on Wheels will serve as pop-up ice cream and refreshment stall in strategic locations such as trail heads and carparks.
- The Rustic Bus in the Towong Shire will provide mobile, self-contained and off-grid accommodation tailored for cycle tourism in a re-purposed bus that sleeps up to six people.
Together, the funded projects are expected to generate 65 full-time equivalent jobs and will be responsible for $6.4 million of investment that will be poured back into the region.
Prior to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the High Country was experiencing strong tourism growth, attracting 3.8 million visitors spending over $1.1 billion annually.
Cycle tourism is one of the primary markets fuelling this growth, and these projects have the potential to significantly increase cycle tourism visitation, which will have a positive flow-on impact on tourism businesses across the region.