Global Tourism Hubs deliver more jobs, more investment, and more tourist dollars

Published: 28th October 2017

Treasurer and Minister for Trade and Investment
The Honourable Curtis Pitt

The Palaszczuk Government is embarking on a new global search to attract new investment into iconic world class tourism infrastructure for Queensland which will generate more jobs, boost tourist numbers and spending in the state economy.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk, Treasurer Curtis Pitt, and Tourism Minister Kate Jones today announced expressions of interest would be called for a Global Tourism Hub (GTH) in Cairns.

“Our new Global Tourism Hubs initiative will deliver significant investment in tourism infrastructure, and that means direct jobs in construction and ongoing operations, as well as jobs in related sectors,” Ms Palaszczuk said.

“We recently undertook an international market sounding process and Cairns was one of the clear frontrunners as a location for a new Global Tourism Hub.

“The GTH process we are announcing today may draw interest for a second or expanded casino operation. That’s the sort of information we need to draw from the market through the expressions of interest process.”

“The GTH process starts right now in the Tropical North with community engagement and a registration of interest process to be followed later by community consultation when specific proposals are developed.”

The Premier said the Cairns Regional Council supported the market-based processes and she welcomed their cooperation and involvement.

Mr Pitt said any Tropical North Global Tourism Hub would be inside a 70km radius of Cairns.

“The GTH process for Cairns offers added investment and planning security because the government has identified a preferred site — the Cairns City Port precinct,” he said.

“While GTH proposals can nominate other sites within the criteria, we have a framework that can shortcut site selection and approval which has been a stumbling block for other large-scale proposals in the past.

“The investment we want requires relatively large sites in prime positions and the market has indicated that the government can play a role by identifying suitable land.

“The Cairns City Port precinct is the government’s and the council’s preferred location and will allow for major tourism and multi-storey developments.

“Our Global Tourism Hubs initiatives is a broader strategy than the Integrated Resort Developments process. It focuses on tourism infrastructure as the primary driver, with the option of gaming second, and will be a catalyst for other developments and investment which also mean more jobs.

“For example, the Cairns GTH will support and integrate with our project to expand the Cairns Convention Centre.

“The Cairns community engagement processes we announce today includes community feedback through a web-page, dedicated e-mail, a 1800 number and CBD pop-up stalls to ensure as many people as possible have their say.

“Through the engagement phase we will also talk further with Cairns Regional Council as well as the tourism, property, gaming and development industries to seek their views.

“A similar process was successfully developed for Queen’s Wharf Brisbane with that transformational $3 billion development now underway.”

Mr Pitt said the GTH criteria included:

  • significant capital investment to create a development that attracts international tourists, where construction commences within 18 months of contractual close
  • located within close proximity to a major population centre with a catchment of at least 150,000 people within a 70 kms radius of the regional centre
  • near an operational international airport or an airport that is capable of being upgraded to international standards
  • have well-established transport networks and significant existing tourism infrastructure with identified growth potential.

Ms Jones said the Global Tourism Hubs initiative recognised the strong international investor interest and confidence in the Queensland tourism industry

“Our tourism sector is already worth $25 billion and supports 225,000 jobs. We want the sector to grow, attract more investment, and deliver more jobs for Queenslanders,” Ms Jones said.

“Aside for direct benefits generated through a GTH project, we can expect more jobs, more investment, and more growth as spin-offs in a range of other industries.

“This initiative is a great shot in the arm for tourism in Queensland.

“We’re setting the bar very high and will be seeking truly world-class proposals and strict criteria will be applied in assessing all of them to ensure the best outcome for Queensland in terms of new jobs and investment.”

ENDS

Media contact: Amy Hunter - 0437 961 831

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