Keeping active and boosting tourism across the state27/03/2018
North East Victoria has long been recognised as having the strongest cycle tourism credentials in Victoria and is primed to become Australia’s premier cycling destination.With around 100,000 overnight visitors coming to the region to participate in cycling each year, the region’s cycling visitation is double the average for regional Victoria.
“Developing cycle tourism is important for the region and a top priority of the Ovens Murray Regional Partnership,” explains Amber Gardner, Tourism North East CEO and Ovens Murray Regional Partnership member.
“Our aim is to create world class cycling experiences that drive significant growth to the local visitor economy and the first priority project of the recently completed North East Cycling Optimisation (NEVCO) Masterplan is activation of the Murray to Mountains Rail Trail,” she says.
Activation of the Murray to Mountains Rail Trail has four key components:
- A marketing campaign to drive awareness and increase visitation;
- Enhancements and attractions along trails, including artistic, interpretive and architectural installations;
- Extension of the Murray to Mountains trail between Beechworth and Yackandandah to link the two heritage towns;
- Private sector activation for facilities that support business investment in a range of cycle tourism experiences.
“We were very pleased when the Victorian Government announced a $12 million contribution to this stage of the overall plan in its 2017/18 State Budget.
“Cycling in the North East provides a unique opportunity for locals and visitors to experience our fantastic natural environment and gain health, social and economic benefits through physical activity, community connections, business development and jobs,” says Amber.
The recently completed Masterplan for the project identified the activation of the Murray to Mountains trail as the major catalyst. Work on the extension between Beechworth and Yackandandah is expected to commence early next financial year, with a dedicated project manager being appointed shortly, to progress the project.
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