Biking in Dunedin production forests a $16.7m drawcard

There was $16.7 million of spending in Dunedin during 2022 that was attributable to visitors for whom biking in the city’s production forests was a key motivation for the visit. By far the most popular forest is Signal Hill, followed by Whare Flat and Wakari Creek.

Bike tourism to Dunedin’s forest bike trails has been rapid since 2019. Spending by bike tourists attracted to Dunedin’s forests has risen 335% off a low base of $3.8 million in 2019. By comparison nationally there was about 68% growth. Back in 2019, Dunedin had an active local bike scene, but relatively few visiting bikers, while now the city seems to have become firmly entrenched on the radar for biking holidaymakers. In 2019 there were around 6,000 visitors who biked each year while now that is up to almost 20,000.

Based on general biking trends across New Zealand, spending by bike visitors to Dunedin’s forest trails is likely to rise by 9.5% to at least $18.3 million by 2027. However, with investment in trails, associated biking infrastructure, and marketing, there is significant potential for Dunedin to capture an even great share of the overall bike economy. To put things in perspective, key bike markets in New Zealand, such as Rotorua and Queenstown have already each been valued at more than $100 million per annum.

The infographic can be downloaded here.

Check out the following podcast if you are interested in learning more about the value of bike access to your region’s forests, and what are the crucial steps to protecting and developing biking in your area.