Rail Trail a Social, Economic Boost: Academic

Article excerpt

Byline: Andy parks

THERE could be major economic and social benefits in the development of a rail trail on the old Casino to Murwillumbah line, according to an SCU tourism academic.

Dr Arianne Reis is a research fellow with Southern Cross Universityas School of Tourism and Hospitality Management and did research on the Otago Central Rail Trail in New Zealand.

aIt rejuvenated the Otago region. Itas one of the most successful tourism products in New Zealand and a signifi- cant boost to the local economy,a Dr Reis said.

aThere are other significant benefits to the local community too such as an increased sense of community and pride... as well as space for leisure they didnat have before.a

The Otago rail trail is 150km and links with a train that takes passengers to Dun- edin. She said having the train was aan added attractiona but many trail users donat use it and that there are aplenty of rail trails around the world that donat have one that are very successfula.

Dr Reis believes Casino to Murwillumbah could be a fantastic attraction. …