DOWNLOAD THE GUIDELINES
Available free to download, these new global best-practice guidelines incorporate TRC's 20 years' experience and knowledge working with Australia, New Zealand and Pacific Island's highest profile nature-based tourism regions.
COVID-19 has hit regional areas particularly hard, stripping millions of dollars of tourism revenue from economies and turning bustling regional hotspots into ghost towns.
"Our hope is that the new guidelines will help the tourism industry and communities to develop compelling and sustainable recreational trail experiences to attract visitors back into their region as we come out of COVID restrictions," TRC director Janet Mackay said.
According to a SkillsIQ report, Nationwide Impacts of Outdoor Recreation, the outdoor recreation sector is a major pillar for Australia's economy with more than $11b estimated to be contributed nationally, $20b in estimated expenditure on outdoor recreation nationally and 16,000 to 30,000 Full-time equivalent (FTE) jobs attributable to outdoor recreation.
"With increasing investment in trail infrastructure globally, upgrades and new developments need to be competitive to attract visitors, and to generate economic and employment opportunities in a region," Ms Mackay said.
Ms Mackay added that now is a good time for industry to get planning and invest in their regions with considerable funding available for tourism and infrastructure projects in a bid to help the struggling tourism sector recover from the "economic challenges" of COVID-19.
The Guidelines cover all aspects of trails planning including mountain bike strategies, iconic multi day walk product development, trails master plans and feasibility studies, integrated regional trails strategies, cycleway planning, rail trails, drive trails and assessments of the economic benefits of trail development.
The Guidelines are a free resource created to provide best practice guidance to the outdoor recreation industry, local community groups, regional Councils and others to help regional centres provide best practice solutions and develop world class experiences.