The government of Queensland announced on Friday plans for the development of a Global Tourism Hub on the waterfront of the city of Cairns, local news outlet the Cairns Post reported yesterday.
State Treasurer Curtis Pitt was among the government representatives that visited the city to make the important announcement. Mr. Pitt explained that the idea for the project emerged after multiple international developers had shown interest in investing in the area.
The official further revealed that the government will give developers the opportunity to register interest in the project from Monday through the next six weeks. Mr. Pitt said that they expect the construction of six-star hotels, a casino, apartment towers, and luxury retail options, among other facilities.
A formal expression of interest process will be launched after the six-week period during which interest registrations will be received. The EOI process will see further details released about the Global Tourism Hub concept. The government expects that plans for developments worth hundreds of millions and even billions of dollars will be submitted.
The Global Tourism Hub – Will There Be a Casino?
The complex will be located on approximately four hectares of state-owned land on the Cairns waterfront. It is important to note that the portion of land where the Global Tourism Hub is proposed to be located is not far from the city’s existing casino – Reef Hotel Casino.
The government plans to issue a casino license as part of the whole scheme. And officials explained on Friday that they will welcome different proposals for the casino part of the whole project – from an expansion of the existing nearby casino to the addition of a new gambling venue as part of the whole development.
The Global Tourism Hub will be similar to the previously approved Queen’s Wharf development scheme in Brisbane. While the latter development will be much larger in scale, which is set to 12 hectares of land on the Brisbane waterfront and more than 15 hectares of the Brisbane River, it will also include a casino, hotels, apartment towers, high-end retail options, and many more.
Speaking about the gaming portion of the Global Tourism Hub, Mr. Pitt said that the casino will be an important part of the whole development, but they want it all to be more about tourism.
The government believes that the fact the portion of land offered for development is actually owned by the state is a key element for the future success of the scheme. The Queen’s Wharf project, which is lauded as great success and its realization is highly anticipated, is also developed on state-owned land.
The Global Tourism Hub is expected to boost visits to the region and to generate multiple new jobs. Queensland Tourism Minister Kate Jones said on Friday that selecting Cairns for the massive project is a mark of trust in its capabilities to help the state boost its tourism. Ms. Jones pointed out that Queensland’s tourism industry is already worth A$25 billion and employs more than 200,000 people.
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