Rotorua's status as one of the world's best mountain biking destinations has been reconfirmed by having its gold-level Ride Centre status renewed for another four years.

There are currently only six gold-level International Mountain Biking Association (IMBA) Ride Centres in the world.

The designation recognises progressive trail communities that value mountain biking and have a trail-forward approach that serves their community members alongside recreational tourism.

Rotorua's status as one of the world's best mountain biking destinations reconfirmed. Photo / Mark Coker
Rotorua's status as one of the world's best mountain biking destinations reconfirmed. Photo / Mark Coker

In their assessment of Rotorua, they stated: "Many of the trails that cover Whakarewarewa National Forest were built by mountain bikers and capture the riding experience mountain bikers crave, with twists and turns that are fun to ride at any speed.

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"Rotorua offers rides for every level of mountain biker - from family fun to expert level - as well as details like excellent trail maps, central accommodation and a plethora of bike rental options."

IMBA executive director Dave Wiens said a gold-level IMBA Ride Centre was the best of the best.

"Rotorua has what so many destinations aspire to have, and their commitment to mountain biking is evidenced in their status renewal. The trails and facilities for mountain bikers are world-class."

Destination Rotorua chief executive Michelle Templer said mountain biking played an important role in Rotorua's reputation as a great place to live and visit.

There are currently only six gold-level International Mountain Biking Association Ride Centres in the world. Photo / Mark Coker
There are currently only six gold-level International Mountain Biking Association Ride Centres in the world. Photo / Mark Coker

"We know that people come here from all over the world to bike our trails and that reputation has been enhanced by the success of events like Crankworx and the Enduro World Series.

"The mountain biking industry is also an important contributor to Rotorua's economy, attracting businesses and investment, as well as visitor spend."

A 2018 economic impact study revealed that people who rode in Rotorua's Whakarewarewa forest contributed between $30 million and $50m in spending annually to the local economy.

Rotorua deputy mayor Dave Donaldson, who is chairman of the board for Crankworx Rotorua, said the renewal of our IMBA gold status is a sensational achievement for the community.

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"It acknowledges the continued passion, enthusiasm and commitment the Rotorua community has to keeping the trails in such a fantastic condition.

"It is also no accident that Rotorua is blessed with an ever-increasing range of businesses and services, employing over 300 people, to cater to every rider's requirements," Donaldson said.

Rotorua was first assigned the IMBA gold status in 2015.