WELLINGTON, July 4 (Xinhua) -- The New Zealand government is investing 528,000 NZ dollars (384,701 U.S. dollars) in 12 new projects for the upkeep of the Great Rides of New Zealand Cycle Trail, Associate Tourism Minister Nicky Wagner announced on Tuesday.
The investment comes from the sixth round of the Maintaining the Quality of Great Rides Fund, which aims to ensure New Zealand's premier rides are maintained to their current world-class standard, Wagner said in a release.
The New Zealand Cycle Trail, is a key part of the country's tourism offering, attracting high-value visitors while boosting employment and development opportunities for regional economies, Wagner said.
"The Government, through the tourism strategy, is focused on attracting visitors who bring value to our communities. We need visitors who spend more, stay longer and explore regions around New Zealand, as well as the main tourist spots," she said.
With over 1 million people using the Great Rides annually, it's important they're well-maintained and continue to offer a safe and enjoyable experience, she added.
In February 2014, the government announced 8 million NZ dollars (5.83 million U.S. dollars) over four years for the Maintaining the Quality of Great Rides Fund. A total of 4.8 million NZ dollars (3.5 million U.S. dollars) has been approved for 59 projects across 20 Great Rides.
An evaluation released last year estimated the Great Rides produced 37.4 million NZ dollars (27.25 million U.S. dollars) in economic benefits in 2015, through revenue from visitor spending.