Tourism New Zealand chief executive, Kevin Bowler, announced six new cycle trail videos highlight some of New Zealand’s most stunning cycle tracks and environs in autumn and make it easy tosee how to experience must-see regional attractions en-route. Their new focus on growing off-peak demand needs to continue… etc.
He reports they are putting 80% of resources and effort into driving ‘shoulder’ and off-peak arrivals in recognition of the fact that NZ’s greatest capacity to grow is outside peak months.
Biking is the new golf..
In the cute little tourist town of Turangi we had to rope in a tourist angler (Thanks Murray and Kiki – photo on right) to make our own video of the wonderful Tongariro River Trail.
TRM have managed to combine biking and fishing by using the bikes as anglers transport to reach the previously too hard pools several km up the Tongariro River on the eastern side of the river well away from the carparks. They are also very popular for guests, many of whom may not have mounted a bike since school days and are now dedicated bikers.
From TRM the circuit via the swing-bridges is about 10 km or the full circuit via the SH1 road bridge is 13 km. When Pumpkin and I walked it yesterday the most noticeable feature was that bikers outnumbered walkers and anglers and dogs combined. (We were checking out some new fishing spots for the summer. I would love to tell you about them but this is a biking report…)
But this Tongariro River Trail is just the start of something much bigger that will soon become the most popular tourist bike trail in NZ.
‘Destination Great Lake Taupo’ – the Taupo Council’s tourism office – bless them, have commissioned a major feasibility study for a new 60 km tourist bike trail to link up with the Tongariro River Trail from Taupo along the edge of Lake Taupo.
DOC – the Department of Conservation – have recently boosted their contribution with their ‘Community Conservation Partnership Fund providing $26 Million over the next four years. So no doubt they will be keen to assist in funding what is sure to develop into NZ’s most popular tourist bike trail.
Shoulder season cycling set to soar
New Zealand’s new cycle trail videos showcase some of New Zealand’s most stunning cycle tracks and environs in autumn and add to the rich resources being used to market Nga Haerenga – The New Zealand Cycle Trail.
The six new videos include the Great Lake Trail, Rimutaka Cycle Trail, The Old Ghost Road, Queen Charlotte Track, Roxburgh Gorge and Clutha Gold Trail. Each video makes it easy for potential visitors to join the dots on understanding the unique experience of each trail, getting to their desired tracks, finding good nearby accommodation and experiencing must-see attractions en route.
Cycling has been identified by Tourism New Zealand as a special interest activity with the potential to attract travellers in the shoulder season and entice more visitors to a greater number of regions. Data also shows that special interest cycling visitors tend to spend more on their trip to New Zealand than the average visitor, making them attractive higher value visitors.
This is part of the drive to attract more cycling visitors and enhance their enjoyment, says Tony Rogers, Tourism New Zealand’s marketing manager Special Interest.
“By showing how a scenic boat trip connects two sections of a track, or where to rest at the end of an action packed day, it’s easy for someone planning their trip to envisage themselves riding on the tracks and then make it happen.”
In addition, the older cycling footage – shot in 2013 – is being upcycled to match the new briefer video format with rich story telling. These videos will include: the Hauraki Rail Trail, the Otago Central Rail Trail, the Timber Trail, Tasman’s Great Taste and Alps 2 Ocean.
Tourism New Zealand plans to shoot two further cycle trail videos this year, namely the North Island’s Mountains to Sea and Around the Mountains in the South.
Tourism New Zealand markets primarily to the 45+ group when it comes to cycling visitors. It believes this age group has the time and resources to travel the way they want at their own pace. Cycling is their primary holiday focus but they are also very keen to experience other activities along the way. They are looking for authentic real experiences and are mostly interested in easy to intermediate trails.
The secondary target audience is the passionate mountain biker who is motivated to ride the best places in the world and take on more advanced tracks.
“Through our research we know that cyclists want to come here to see and experience things that they wouldn’t normally see as a regular visitor,” said Mr Rogers.
The New Zealand Cycle Trail project was announced in 2009, with the objective of creating a high quality tourism asset that would attract more tourists, create jobs, and boost economic growth in the regions. The New Zealand Cycle Trail estimates that more than 1,200 jobs have been created as a result of the project. Good stuff for the future.