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Friday, May 30, 2014

Motorcycle Tourism Attracts Visitors to Australia

Australia has long been a favoured destination for those interested in travelling cross-country by campervan, with its wide open spaces and well-equipped camping facilities. The landscape lends itself well to adventure.

Yet a new breed of road tripper is also visiting Australia in vast numbers. Motorcyclists are visiting the country to go touring, drawn to popular scenic trails as well as recreational motorsports festivals. Australian residents are also enjoying the country's motorsports events and using motorcycles for weekend recreation. As a result, regional governments like Victoria's are crafting new strategies to both attract and protect motorcycle tourists in Australia.

Motor Bike Image
Image Source: Stefan Jurgensen/Flickr
New Tourism Strategy
In a bid to grow the motorcycle touring niche market, the Victorian coalition government has launched a Motorcycle Tourism Strategy for 2013-2016. This aims to grow the motorcycle tourism niche market both for locals and outside visitors who might visit for events like World Superbikes and MotoGP. Many Australians are purchasing touring bikes for recreational use, and you can click here to see some of the most popular models. The strategy entails increasing marketing activities to target bikers, provide more detailed safety information for riders, and encouraging smaller regional tourism boards to engage with motorcycle tourists.

Popular Motorcycle Journeys
There are a number of routes particularly popular with Australian recreational bikers and motorcycle enthusiasts from abroad. The Great Tropical Drive travels from Cairns to Townsville with scenic seaside views. Another top coastal journey is the Great Ocean Road. Organized motorcycle tours depart from Melbourne to explore this terrain. An increasing number of tourists are visiting Tasmania for the Hobart to Hobart loop, passing through unspoilt wilderness and Tasmania's quaint towns. A particularly thrilling route for experienced bikers is the Great Alpine Road, which is considered to be one of Australia's best. It climbs from Myrtleford into the Snowy Mountains, with tight corners and winding roads providing a challenge for bikers. Riders are rewarded with panoramic views at the top for their troubles. Yet these are only a few examples of popular routes attracting visitors, and many are venturing into the Outback as well on organized tours.
Motor Bike Image 1
Image Source: Muc10/Wikimedia Commons

Festivals and Events
Another way that Australia is attracting motorcycle enthusiasts to its shores is with a plethora of motorsports festivals and events throughout the year. Many of these involve motorbikes, with the grandest being the Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix. Held each year at Victoria's Phillip Island, this three day event draws spectators and competitors from all over the globe as they race superbikes along a seaside track. The Australasian Safari spans a whole week of racing, and is open to quad bikes, motorbikes, and 4WD vehicles alike. Competitors pass through some of the most rugged and remote stretches of the Australian Outback over a distance of 4,000 kilometres.

Whether it's for private touring or to attend a motorcycle event, Australia is becoming an increasingly attractive destination for motorcycle tourists. If the new tourism strategy in Victoria succeeds, the country could see other states following suit.

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The Expeditionist

The Expeditionist
Venturing to the world's special places