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Northern Rivers Rail Trail 'to boost Australia's cycling tourism economy'

The upcoming opening of the Northern Rivers Rail Trail is expected to bring a significant economic and tourism boost to the locations that it travels through, according to advocates of the cycling and walking trail.

Currently under construction, the Northern Rivers Rail Trail - so named because it runs alongside now disused railway tracks - will journey through some of Australia's most beautiful natural scenery and wildlife habitats, which its supporters believe will drive an increase in nature-based tourism to the country.

They have drawn on the examples of similar trails for walkers and cyclists in other parts of the world, which have led to visitor numbers rising and a subsequent boost to the local economy.

With this in mind, business and property investors may wish to look for deals in areas in the vicinity of the Northern Rivers Rail Trail, as these are likely to become increasingly popular with both domestic and international tourists in the near future.

Although tourist hubs including Byron Bay already feature along the trail route, its supporters hope that once it is completed it will drive tourism to nearby, often underlooked destinations too.

Deputy premier for New South Wales John Barilaro commented: "The [New South Wales] government has invested record funding to turbocharge rural and regional tourism and drive visitation beyond the fringes of Sydney to places like the North Coast.

"The positive flow-on effects from this tourism asset would be felt right across our regions with more heads on beds and more tourist dollars ending up in the pockets of local businesspeople."

Cycle tourism is an increasing focus for Australia, with the Great Victorian Rail Trail also proving popular with both locals and overseas visitors.

In fact, statistics published by Tourism Research Australia in 2010 showed that the contribution to the economy that year from people hiring bikes and paying for access to cycling trails in Victoria alone came in at $362 billion.

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