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Applications are open for round seven of the Maintaining the Quality of Great Rides Fund, Associate Tourism Minister Nicky Wagner announced today.

Part of the Government’s $8 million investment over four years, the funding supports trail governance bodies to maintain the Great Rides of Nga Haerenga, the New Zealand Cycle Trail to a world-class standard.

“With over a million users per year, the 22 Great Rides are encouraging tourists to visit the regions, bringing new business to small communities and contributing almost $40 million to regional economies annually,” Ms Wagner says.

“The Government, through the tourism strategy, is focused on supporting the sector to attract high-value visitors — we need people who spend more, stay longer and explore areas throughout New Zealand, as well as the main tourist spots.

“The Great Rides support these aims by providing great experiences around the country for Kiwis and international visitors alike.

“Through the Maintaining the Quality of Great Rides Fund, nearly $5 million has already been approved for 59 projects, including improvements such as surface enhancements, safety barriers, track re-routing and storm damage repairs.”

Budget 2016 included additional funding of $25 million over four years for the extension and enhancement of the trails, bringing the total investment in the New Zealand Cycle Trail since its inception in 2009 to over $75 million.

Applications are open to Great Rides governance organisations and close on Friday 8 September 2017. For more information, visit: http://www.mbie.govt.nz/info-services/sectors-industries/tourism/nga-haerenga-new-zealand-cycle-trail

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