Northern Rivers Rail Trail launches Business Connect Program

20 September 22023

Tweed Shire Council is inviting businesses and commercial operators to share in the success of the popular Northern Rivers Rail Trail (Tweed section) and sign up to its new Connect Program.

Launched today, the Connect Program is designed to connect commercial operators and businesses to the award-winning Rail Trail which opened in March. Figures show more than 70,000 people used the Rail Trail in the first four months of operation, with projections indicating it will attract more than 150,000 users and guests annually.

The Connect Program will enable business partners to highlight their guest experience offerings, focusing on the ways users can taste, stay, move, explore and enjoy along the Rail Trail.

Mayor of Tweed Shire Chris Cherry said the Connect framework would not only offer a smart and affordable link to the Rail Trail for businesses but would provide an important revenue stream for Council to contribute to the ongoing operation and maintenance costs of the Rail Trail.

“The Connect Program provides great value and is a fair and open framework to ensure those benefiting from commercial gain from the Rail Trail also contribute to its maintenance, while receiving a wide range of business benefits to promote their experience or service to Rail Trail guests,” Cr Cherry said.

“This is all about supporting our local economy to thrive by generating sustainable economic opportunities to bolster our long-term future.”

The Connect Program caters for three business needs – commercial operations, marketing and signage – and is a way for adjacent landowners, businesses and tourism operators to access potential visitors to the Rail Trail.

The Connect Program features:

  1. The Rail Trail Pass: an affordable annual fee and other charges for commercial operators undertaking business and activities on and in association with the Rail Trail.
  2. The Marketing Program: a tiered program offering a range of cooperative marketing opportunities with affordable gold, silver and bronze entry points to suit all budgets and marketing goals. This offers a wide range of benefits from website and map listings to social media exposure.
  3. The Signage Program: available to Marketing Program members, the signage program provides opportunities for exclusive on-trail signage options and sizes within the rail corridor.

“Six months on from opening the Rail Trail, we are pleased to now be able to launch the Connect Program,” Cr Cherry said.

“This will see us move into an exciting operational phase to facilitate collaboration with commercial businesses to help us truly unlock the potential for sustainable experiences that stretch across the Tweed. This not only benefits our local businesses but also enriches the overall trail experience for visitors to the region.

“Our goal is to develop and support a thriving community of operators who are wholeheartedly committed to growing the Northern Rivers Rail Trail. Through collaboration and innovation, we’re shaping an exciting future for our region.”

If you offer guest experiences, services or products in categories like Taste, Stay, Move, Explore or Enjoy, we want to hear from you! For more information or to join the Connect Program visit the Northern Rivers Rail Trail website.


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