On 20-21 November some 100 people representing Government, the Australian Cycle Industry, Not for Profit organisations and businesses associated with the Tourism and Cycling Industry,came together at this conference in Adelaide. Details about the conference and its discussion agenda are available at the Cycling Tourism website.
Vince Aitkin represented Railtrails Australia and spoke about rail trails throughout Australia, how they attract a large number of cyclists and discussed ways and means of how users can be better catered for as rail trails develop and expand.
Representatives from Murray to the Mountains Rail Trail, The Riesling Trail and the proposed Adelaide Hills Rail Trail were in attendance and spoke about their facilities (and future trails) and discussed increasing trail user numbers.
It was an excellent Conference and steps are being taken to organise a National Cycle Touring Organisation to work towards expanding and catering for the increase in Cycle Touring throughout Australia.
UPDATE Following the conference the federal government has made funding available as outlined in their media release below.
The Hon Fran Bailey, MP
1 December 2006
CYCLE TOURISM CYCLES FORWARD
Cycle tourism has been recognised as an important niche market in the tourism industry with $239,650 funding from the Australian Government.
Tourism Minister Fran Bailey announced the funding today to Bicycle South Australia Inc.
Fran Bailey said cycle tourism was a fast-growing sector in Australia and overseas and had to be developed as a niche market locally.
“The funding will be used to help develop a cycle tourism resource kit to assist regional communities throughout Australia to invest strategically in this exciting market,” Fran Bailey said.
“It will include a series of integrated tool kits and tool boxes, including a ‘how-to manual’ that will equip regional communities with knowledge of how to best invest in cycle tourism.”
The areas that will be focused on are in the Munda Biddi trail region in southern Western Australia, Murray to the Mountains Rail Trail in north eastern Victoria, Redlands and Noosa Shires in Queensland, southern Flinders Ranges in South Australia, and in Tasmania.
“These areas are already showing successful cycle tourism development,” Fran Bailey said.
The funding has been offered under the Australian Government’s $31 million Australian Tourism Development Program which supports innovative and regional tourism projects.
This Program is part of the Australian Government’s strong commitment to creating more jobs in tourism and providing more opportunities for small business in local regions.