22 Mar 2018

Mountain biking a boon for regions

From Afternoons with Jesse Mulligan, 1:21 pm on 22 March 2018

Mountain biking in Nelson is having a boom. The region's beautiful scenery means it's a great spot to take a ride, and it's bringing in tourists and their dollars.

Other tourist towns and cities around the country are reaping the benefits of the sport, so what can be done to attract these high value tourists?

Paul Jennings from the Nelson Mountain Bike Club says tourists come to New Zealand for the variety of mountain biking terrains it offers.

Rotorua is a favourite destination, and a popular itinerary for mountain bikers is to go to Wellington, then take a ferry to the South Island, take in Nelson and head down the West Coast to Queenstown, he says

Jennings says it's a ten day trip that seems to be gaining traction.

And the sector is worth a lot to the regions. Nelson City Council has done the numbers.

An economic impact study on mountain biking in the region by BERL puts the current value at $15.5 million a year.

Jennings says the various mountain biking pockets around New Zealand all have individual advantages, but a national picture is needed.

"The job we have in front of us now is how to consolidate all of the value that is sitting in these pockets and create a New Zealand mountain bike story that we tell to the world."

He says the compact yet varied nature of New Zealand is a big asset.

"It's a massive advantage we have - short journey times, easily navigated trail networks, stunning natural landscapes, and each ride finished with a craft beer or great coffee."

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