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Shoulder season cycling set to soar

Tourism 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.

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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. These people have 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,” says Tony.

“Scenery, towns passed through, historic sites, vineyards and cafés are all important to cycling visitors - we know cycling itineraries that include other activities are most appealing.”

The new cycling videos tell part of the story of marketing our Great Rides. Online training modules are used as part of the 100% Pure Specialist Training Programme to help train overseas travel agents to learn about and sell trips to New Zealand. A travel agent needs to complete a total of ten online training modules to become a New Zealand specialist. An online training module geared to cycling is currently being developed to educate travel agents on the Great Rides and how to sell a cycling holiday to New Zealand. It is due to be complete by the end of the year and will be available in up to seven languages.

Cycling guides are also been developed to complement online information for both trade and consumers. In addition to the cycling guides for the Great Rides there’s a walking and hiking guide on the Great Walks and other multi-day/day walks. Tourism New Zealand will distribute these in its offshore markets to trade partners.

Tourism New Zealand has also partnered with AA on a Cycling Trail Guide which is distributed in New Zealand and can be picked up by people already in the country. A new guide with enhanced content is due February 2016.

Additional information

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.

Visit Tourism New Zealand’s online cycling hub for more information.

Read more about Tourism New Zealand’s recent Special Interest and Youth webinar.