Cycle trails making positive impact on the New Zealand economy
On: 31 January 2014
A new report shows that businesses and communities in areas served by the New Zealand Cycle Trail (NZCT) are making great progress, with increased economic activity and more visitors to the trail regions.
Nga Haerenga, the New Zealand Cycle Trail Evaluation Report shows that visitors using the NZCT are staying one to three nights and spending between $131 and $176 a day per person.
The evaluation report was commissioned by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment and shows that although the trails are still very new, they are making good progress in terms of job creation and contribution to the local economy.
Interviews with trail managers, surveys of business owners and trail users, and four cycle trail case studies were undertaken for the evaluation. The case studies looked at a range of cycle trails, including remote trails and popular day-trip and urban destinations - the Mountains to Sea Trail in Manawatu, the Hauraki trail in Waikato, the Motu Trail on the East Coast and the Queenstown Trail.
Overall about one-quarter of businesses surveyed believed the trails had been good for their business, and about half believed it would be in the future. An impressive 98 per cent of users said they were either very satisfied or satisfied with their cycle trail experience and 97 per cent of trail users said they were likely to recommend the trail to others.
The Chair of NZCT Inc. Richard Leggat says the trails have been busy this summer with visitors and cycling enthusiasts alike.
“While it is still early days for the cycle trails, they are making great progress towards achieving their goals of creating a high quality tourism asset for New Zealand. It’s gratifying to get such excellent feedback from trail users,” says Mr Leggat.
The trails have already received international recognition for their quality, receiving the honourable mention award at the International Trails Symposium in April last year.