Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce today announced that the Government is investing $420,000 from the Major Events Development Fund (MEDF) in the 2015 and 2016 Crankworx Rotorua Mountain Bike Festivals.

Crankworx, the world's biggest mountain bike festival, will be held in Rotorua from 25 to 29 March this year, and on similar dates in 2016. Whistler and the French Alps have previously hosted the popular event.

"The Crankworx Rotorua Festival is an excellent addition to New Zealand's growing international events schedule," Mr Joyce said.

"It will attract the world's best mountain biking pro-athletes to compete on New Zealand's impressive mountain bike trails, with more than 1300 international visitors expected to travel to New Zealand next month to support the event.

"In addition it is anticipated that a number of riders will be staying on in New Zealand to participate in other cycling events such as the Rotorua and Queenstown Bike Festivals."

The Government invests, through the MEDF, in major events that generate significant immediate and long-term benefits to New Zealand.

"We are committed to working with New Zealand's major events sector to help attract and grow high-quality major events around the country that deliver economic, social and cultural benefits and promote New Zealand to the world," Mr Joyce said.

Rotorua MP Todd McClay has welcomed the announcement.

Mr McClay said attracting these type of events was the reason the Government's Tourism Growth Partnership co-invested $225,000 alongside the $225,000 invested by Skyline Gravity Park to upgrade the park to international race standards last year.

"Without this critical investment in Gravity Park Crankworx might not have come to Rotorua," he said.

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"This is a real example of how this type of funding pays its way and will continue to put Rotorua on the world stage.

"Crankworx will showcase Rotorua to the world. Thousands of people will will visit spending money in the local economy which will be welcomed by tourism operators and local businesses alike.

"I'm glad that the Government is playing its part in this exciting opportunity for Rotorua," he said.

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