Pedal Power ACT welcomes the release of the CBR Cycle Tourism Strategy.
“Pedal Power has been advocating for a cycle tourism strategy for a long time, it’s terrific to see the ACT Government deliver a solid foundation for bike riders and businesses,” said Pedal Power CEO Ian Ross.
“With our temperate climate, open roads, extensive path and trail networks, and off-road facilities like Stromlo Forest Park and Majura Pines, Canberra is well placed to be further developed as a cycling destination and tap into the growing and lucrative domestic and international cycle tourism market.
“Cycle tourism has a proven track record of delivering benefits for the communities that embrace them. As the strategy acknowledges, NZ’s Cycling Trails program ‘delivered a 1 : 3.55 cost to benefit ratio, generating $37.4 million in economic benefits’.
“We are pleased that as a first step, work has been commissioned to develop a CBR Cycle Guide to promote cycle tourism to domestic and international visitors, and an action plan to market Canberra as a cycle tourism destination.
“The strategy recognises that the greatest tourism potential lies in the leisure cycling market which requires improvements to both the urban cycling and mountain biking trail networks.
“The ACT strategy allocates $374,000 over two years to plan and design a new mountain bike network that expands on our existing destinations. World class mountain bike trails are costed at approximately $25-$30,000 per kilometre.
“While the ACT Government’s spending looks small when compared to the $6 million invested by the Tasmanian Government, or the $9.8 million by the NSW Government in a mountain bike trail at Jindabyne – Canberra needs to start somewhere, and we view this document as an important first step,” Mr Ross said.
“We have a great network of recreational trails which are used by a thriving local mountain biking community and attract thousands of visitors each year. Unfortunately, many of these trails have been lost due to logging by the ACT Government.
“We need to identify opportunities to better protect and develop these assets. This will involve substantial government investment and better coordination.
“The strategy identifies opportunities to develop new events and facilities such as a Women and Girls’ Cycling Festival and the development of regional rail trails which we welcome.
“We look forward to working with the ACT Government to further develop the strategy, and hope that there is continued investment to build on our competitive advantages in the cycle tourism area,” said Mr Ross.
Image courtesy of Kowalski Classic