Jason Menard has been appointed marketing manager for the Alps to Ocean cycle trail.
''I'm thrilled to get this opportunity,'' he said.
''The cycleway could become one of the great tourist attractions for the South Island. The trail takes you through a microcosm of the country's landscape, it's a great way to see so many different aspects of New Zealand in six days.''
Mr Menard's role will include liaising with prospective business partners, helping with website development and promoting the trail for domestic and foreign tourists.
''In a way, my role is to tell a story. I want people to not only enjoy the trail, but also share their experiences,'' he said.
The Wisconsin-born Mr Menard said the Alps to Ocean cycleway could emulate the success of the Central Otago Rail Trail.
''A lot of international tourists land in Christchurch, and head straight to Queenstown. We want them to learn more about the beauty of the Waitaki and the Mackenzie regions,'' he said.
Mr Menard said he would still be based in Twizel for his role.
''Which is great, as I can see the Ohau section of the cycle trail right from the back deck of my house,'' he said.
The Government has pledged $2.75 million towards the Alps to Ocean cycle trail. Once complete, it will be about 310km long, and run from Aoraki-Mt Cook to Oamaru. It is expected that about 186km of the trail would use existing road, while the rest would be newly constructed trail.
An official update on the trail's progress is due next week, but last month's report suggested that of the trail to be built, 65 per cent was either complete or under construction.
The Mackenzie District Council has not joined its Waitaki counterparts in funding promotion of the trail, instead guaranteeing to fund only $125,000 over the next three years towards its maintenance.
In contrast, Waitaki District Council has indicated it would spend more than $384,000 on the trail over the next two years, with about one-third of that money going towards the trail's marketing.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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