Pedal power backed

RIDE: A free community bike ride will be held on Sunday in Mackay.
RIDE: A free community bike ride will be held on Sunday in Mackay.

The Byron Bay Chamber of Commerce is backing a new strategy aimed at attracting more bicycle tourism to the shire.

A recent chamber study into the viability of bicycle tourism looked at comparable tourism studies in areas from Tasmania to Maine in the USA.

The study showed that not only were bicycle tourists greener and cleaner, but they stayed longer, spent more and returned regularly with more friends.

It showed bicycle tourism put $15 million into the Tasmanian economy, which equated to a potential #70-$120 million in the Byron Shire based on recent visitor numbers.

Chamber president, Greg Owens, acknowledged the work by Byron Council in constructing a new cycleway in Ewingsdale Road.

But he said there was a need for more cycleways.

Shaping tourism to attract greener, cleaner bike riding tourists meant creating bikefriendly regional bike paths or bike shoulders on roads and other bike-friendly infrastructure.

A new Byron Bay bicycle users group - BUG - backed by the chamber, has been formed to lobby for improved facilities for cyclists.

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