Tourism Central Otago (TCO) has returned recently from exhibiting at the Sport and Lifestyle Expo at New Zealand's largest cycling event, the Lake Taupo Cycle Challenge.
TCO Digital Media Marketing officer Anthony Longman and Visitor Centre consultant Claire Keogh attended the event, which TCO uses as an opportunity to talk directly with the North Island cycling market and promote Central Otago's trails and associated visitor experiences.
Mr Longman said the event provided "great value" to the regional tourism organisation and there was a steady stream of people to the stand throughout the day. They were able to utilise videos of district cycle trails filmed earlier this year, which were a great attention grabber and a powerful advert for the types of experiences Central Otago has to offer.
"We were able to talk to a diverse range of people who wanted to visit to experience our trails. We also spoke to many who had previously completed the Otago Central Rail Trail, and several who are already booked to ride in Central Otago this summer or autumn. It was a great chance to get direct feedback and to encourage them to add extra activities into trip plans," he said.
Looking ahead to 2016 Tourism Central Otago has partnered with events company Total Sport to attend two key North Island cycling events – The Partners Life Dual in March, held on 19 March on Motutapu and Rangitoto Islands in Auckland, and the Marmot T42 on 7 May in the Central Plateau. These events attract approximately 3000 entrants combined, as well as many spectators and supporters.
"These events offer another direct connection with a key visitor market for Central Otago, with the majority of competitors in the 40-plus age bracket and an interest in active holidays and quality food, wine and accommodation," said TCO General Manager Anne Pullar.
"TCO's aim is to position Central Otago as New Zealand's premier destination for a cycling based holiday, with access to fantastic trails, and supported by our rich heritage, boutique accommodation and well-earned reputation for excellent food and wine."