The Tasmanian Government has established a $6 million Cycle Tourism Fund as part of its drive to make the state Australia’s premier cycling destination.
It’s part of the new Tasmanian Cycle Tourism Strategy released by Premier Will Hodgman, who is also Minister for Tourism.
The fund – $1.8m of which has already been allocated to the St Helens and Blue Tier mountain bike developments – will back projects and events to continue to expand what is already a fast-growing market.
While overall numbers of cycle tourists are still modest, there is nonetheless significant growth.
The most recent data, from the Tasmanian Visitor Survey, shows that 38,823 visitors said they participated in cycling and/or mountain biking while they were in Tasmania.
The Government says there is considerable growth in cycle tourism in northern Tasmania around the Blue Derby and Blue Tier mountain bike hubs, and that road riding is also increasing.
One of the key drivers of that growth has been Tourism Northern Tasmania, which embarked on its own cycle tourism strategy to make the North the cycling hub of the state.
From that initiative grew the accreditation scheme for cycle friendly tourism businesses and the marketing of the Festival of Cycling in Launceston on Sunday 12 November.
The Cycle Tourism Fund is open for applications from 28 September 2017 with $4.2 million total funding available. Applications will close mid-December, and successful projects are expected to be announced in February 2018.