Victoria’s High Country, Australia
Road cycling, mountain biking, sightseeing, rail trails
What makes it great?
There’s something for everyone!
Road cyclists, mountain bikers, rail-trails, food and produce, craft breweries, wineries, quaint villages… Accommodation lodgings are plentiful and provided at every price point. They accommodate and welcome groups. Cycling infrastructure abounds throughout the townships of the region – secure bike parking, wayfinding, water refills… There are places to eat and drink appealing to every taste and budget.
The Victorian High Country’s path to success
Marketing and branding are two things this region has nailed. They have positioned themselves as Australia’s premiere cycling destination, placing themselves in the hearts and minds of all Australian cyclists of every variety, as well as non-riders who choose to ride while in the area; captivated by the off-road trails and the easy ability to connect experiences and attractions by bike.
From 2005, early initiatives to develop bicycle tourism opportunities in the region were the brainchild of former North East Victoria Economic Development and Tourism Officer, Clayton Neil. His foresight, vision and commitment saw the continued commitment of local and State Government funding to help the region establish trails, implement infrastructure and facilities, encouraged the support and backing of local businesses and services, and commenced the region’s marketing campaign ‘Ride High Country’.
The region’s tourism authority and local Council works closely and collaboratively with local businesses, including having in place one of Australia’s first bicycle friendly programs in place. ‘High Country Preferred Bicycle Businesses’ receive shopfront window stickers and online branding to position and market them to attract more cyclists.
The key outcomes for the Victorian High Country’s local community and economy
Victoria’s High Country continues to experience strong tourism growth, well ahead of State and regional averages. 3.8 million visitors spend over $1.1bn in the High-Country region annually. Bicycle tourism is one of the primary markets fuelling this growth, with over 100,000 bicycle tourism visitors per year. Cycling visitation contributes approximately $49.9 million in direct expenditure to North East Victoria.
“My passion is in business development and marketing,.. Seeing businesses embrace cyclists over the past three years has been highly rewarding. It will lead to a change in culture that will see the villages of North East Victoria become recognized all over the world as cycle friendly communities” – Clayton Neil
“The cycling experience in the Alpine Shire is of international standard. The trail connects many small communities together that offer activities for people of all ages. Because cyclists move slower, they spend more time in these communities and enjoy many of the experiences on offer. This provides substantial economic benefits to these communities… Cycling is one of the most popular activities and has become a major tourism driver for the Alpine Shire…. The rail trail offers cyclists of all ages and
standards to ride for long distances safely. This extension is an important value adding project for the Alpine Shire. It has become an asset both for the local community and tourists.” – Acting Mayor, Daryl Pearce
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