Tourism winner backed with grant for trail

06 May 2017 Border Mail, Albury-Wodonga (General News) EDITORIAL VICTORIAs North East is one of the most beautiful regions in Australia. It has spectacular national parks, the alps, wineries aplenty, lush farmland in the valleys and plenty of pretty, historic towns. The substantial growth in recent years too in the regions foodie culture has served only too magnify the attraction it has for locals and visitors alike. Certainly much has been done to build on this image. The development, for example, of the King Valley winery region has been built upon with successful culinary events. It is the same too in other parts, especially the long-established Rutherglen winery region. Something is always being done to create new unique ways to drive that tourism dollar even further. One strong performer has been cycling. There could scarcely be a more enjoyable place to take your treadly for a spin, whether that be on your own, with your partner, family or a group of mates. That is why the development of rail trails, popular also with walkers, have been such a bit hit. It is great news to hear then that the Victorian government has had sufficient vision to back this highly popular resource with a decent cash splash. It was just this week that Northern Victoria MLC Jaclyn Symes announced that $12 million would be made available for cycle tourism in the North East. Specifically, that involves $6 million to construct the Beechworth to Yackandandah rail trail (and on to Osbornes Flat) and, to make the most of what is being done, a further $6 million for promotion as well as track enhancement. Indigo mayor Jenny OConnor was rightly excited by the potential, pointing to the plethora of attractions that will work in with the trail everything from rock-wall climbing to pop-up cafes. It is notable too that part of the allocation will go towards developing a cycling hub to make the North East a leader in such tourism. Clearly all involved in the project are aware they are on to a winner, given that an interim report has predicted that cycling tourism will grow in the North East by 225 per cent over the next eight years. All those extra visitors will generate a lot of income for the region and with that, new businesses and jobs. It is undoubtedly an all-round winner. Licensed by Copyright Agency. You may only copy or communicate this work with a licence.