$1.8M pledge to tap into mountain biking potential
MOUNTAIN bike riders from across the nation, and eventually the world, could flock to the Whitsundays under a project set to be funded if the LNP wins the upcoming election.
The LNP has made an election pledge of $1.8 million for a major upgrade of the Conway Circuit mountain bike trail.
Under the Whitsunday Mountain Bike Trails Program, money would be spent on a track upgrade, signage and a shelter station.
LNP candidate for Whitsunday Amanda Camm said the project was expected to bring in 13,200 new tourists to the region every year, create 10 full-time equivalent jobs during construction and 34 ongoing jobs.
Mountain biking was one of the fastest growing sports in Australia and the world, she said.
"Given the challenges with international travel, people who are mountain biking are going to be looking at other places," Ms Camm said.
Ms Camm said the Whitsundays was well placed to take advantage of this interest and the focus would be on encouraging extended stays, so visitors would also visit the Great Barrier Reef and other attractions while here.
The Whitsunday Mountain Bike Trails Program is a project that has been floated by the Whitsunday Regional Council and Greater Whitsunday Alliance as a potential way to boost the region's COVID-19 recovery.
Dawson MP George Christensen also recently listed the project on his Federal Budget wishlist.
Ms Camm said the benefits of the shovel-ready project would be two-fold - an initial injection of jobs through the construction phase followed by ongoing jobs and visitors.
"It's about the Whitsundays establishing itself as a diverse destination that coexists in the natural environment," she said.
"Adventure tourism has seen a huge uplift in New Zealand and Tasmania and the LNP's investment will secure the Whitsundays a slice of the pie," Ms Camm said.
LNP leader Deb Frecklington said energising the tourism industry was a key part of the LNP's economic plan to boost the regions and lead Queensland out of this recession.
"The LNP will seize this opportunity to create a new tourism and marketing opportunity for the Whitsundays," Ms Frecklington said.
"The potential of the Conway Circuit mountain bike trail to create jobs and stimulate the local economy is enormous.
"A full track upgrade will create a new world-class level eco-tourism and sports destination to boost tourism in the Whitsundays region.
"Keen mountain bike riders will come from interstate and overseas to take on the upgraded Conway Circuit mountain bike trails and spend money in the community."