The Victorian Coalition Government will provide $2500 in funding for the Tour de Rutherglen to be held on September 29 and 30 2012, The Nationals Member for Murray Valley, Tim McCurdy, said today.
Mr McCurdy said the funding is evidence of the Coalition Government’s ongoing commitment to regional Victoria and to developing tourism.
The Tour de Rutherglen combines the best of our region; cycling, sampling our fine wines and dining on local gourmet produce, while enjoying a guided tour through the majestic old vineyards and wineries of the Rutherglen area, he said.
The tour, which attracts hundreds of cyclists each year, will focus on some of the region’s more intriguing, unique wines and winemakers.
The completion of the Wahgunyah-Rutherglen section of the Murray to the Mountains rail trail has seen a big increase in cyclists coming to the region throughout the year, to enjoy the wine, the food, and the cycling, with routes catering for all ages and abilities, Mr McCurdy said.
However, the Tour de Rutherglen, over a pre-planned route of approximately 30 kilometres, remains a highlight in the calendar of events, he said.
Mr McCurdy said the funding for the Tour de Rutherglen is provided through the Government’s Country Victoria Events Program and assists with tourism marketing, event delivery and development.
I’d like to thank Tourism and Major Events Minister Louise Asher for this funding and for her commitment to developing the regional tourism industry, he said.
The latest National Visitor Survey results found tourism in regional Victoria continues to grow.
In the year ending December 2011, domestic overnight expenditure in regional Victoria increased 6.5 per cent to $4.2 billion.
Speaking in Parliament last week, Mr McCurdy said that following the floods which hit northern Victoria earlier this year, it is important to market events to get visitors back to the region.
It is a delicate balance between letting people know about the tragedies which have taken place with the floods and promoting the region as a tourism area and getting tourists back to our communities, he said.
Support for tourism events such as this allow them to be successfully marketed, ensuring the greatest number of people are aware of them and are encouraged to attend.
This is a significant help to the electorate in moving on from the devastation of the floods and in promoting the wonderful Murray Valley region, Mr McCurdy concluded.