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Green Light for Picton to Kaikoura Coastal Pacific Trail

Green Light for Picton to Kaikoura Coastal Pacific Trail

“TRC supports the assessment that the CPT, if planned and developed correctly, can offer an extremely high class cycling experience”, this statement from the feasibility study of the Coastal Pacific Trail carried out by international consultants TRC confirms that the Coastal Pacific Trail working group has identified a potential major asset for the future.

Quoting from the report, group chair Dr John Forrest said “TRC would recommend that the CPTC consider positioning the trail for three hero experiences the first two of which are already strong in the market – the wineries of the Marlborough; the marine viewing of the coast; with the third yet to be developed but being the communities and people with whom users will connect whilst travelling the journey. The positioning and the hero experiences can be further developed through preparation of a marketing plan”.

The working group says “we are very pleased with the findings of TRC as they endorse our line of thinking as to the strengths and positive benefits of the project as a whole. It is also pleasing to find that our preliminary work has identified the same issues and potential pitfalls as these internationally reputable consultants”.

While the working group has estimated a user base of 25,000 the report is more optimistic saying “TRC believes that this is a reasonable and perhaps conservative estimate given the nature of the experience that will be on offer if the trail is developed to a high standard, with excellent support services, accommodation options and experiences along the way and effective positioning and marketing”. The study indicates a belief that a user base of 35,000 per annum is a realistic usage figure on which to base calculations.

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The consulting report estimates the creation of 22 jobs during the creation phase of the project with this expanding to between 40 and 77 jobs (dependent on usage levels) once the trail is operational.

Challenges identified for the project by TRC are those also identified by the working group, revolving largely around the adequacy of funding of the trail, the key relationship between the trail and KiwiRail and the long-term ownership of the trail.

While the project currently bears the title Coastal Pacific the working group anticipate changing this to avoid confusion with the KiwiRail journey of the same name. Developing a unique and protected brand identity for the trail was emphasised by TRC as an important ingredient for its success.


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