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Jobs boost if Cairns Global Tourism Hub goes ahead

Thu, Aug 1, 8:05am by Staff Writer

A Global Tourism Hub in Cairns will create thousands of jobs, the Mirage News reports

New economic modeling released on Wednesday shows that as many as 2,300 jobs will be created if the project goes ahead in tropical North Queensland.

Tourism Industry Development Minister Kate Jones said Price Waterhouse Cooper’s Tropical North GTH economic impact analysis shows a hub in the under utilized Ports North precinct could attract between 50,000 and 500,000 extra tourists a year once it is fully operational.

Ms Jones said the report also showed between 150,000 to 300,000 visitors would likely stay longer in tropical North Queensland as a result of a Global Tourism Hub.

“New infrastructure that will attract thousands of extra tourists to Tropical North Queensland and is crucial when it comes to growing our tourism industry,” she said.

“This report draws on the experiences of Singapore, Macau, Melbourne and Perth in their developments attracting additional visitors and increasing visitor night numbers.

“It gives us a genuine indication of what’s on offer as we seek more tourists who stay longer and spend more money in Cairns.”

The 4.4 hectare Ports North site is in the heart of the Cairns tourism precinct – strategically located near major tourism drawcards – the cruise liner terminal, convention centre and marina.

The Trinity Inlet Wharf proposal incorporates premium hotels, residential accommodation, commercial and retail leases, convention facilities and a casino.

Tourism boost, jobs and casino part of the plan

Member for Cairns Michael Healy said at peak construction, the project could create between 470 and 620 jobs.

“This report also shows that a Global Tourism Hub could grow the gross regional product in Cairns by $70 million to $95 million a year,” he said.

Mr Healy said Price Waterhouse Cooper estimated over a 30-year period that the total impact of the project on the Gross Regional Product of the Cairns economy was between $540 million and $2 billion.

“When the tourism industry in Cairns is doing well, everyone benefits,” he said.

“That’s why we’re committed to delivering new infrastructure that we know will give a boost to the economy and grow our share of the international visitor market.”

The analysis in the Price Waterhouse Cooper report released is built on a low to high range of development of capital cost expected to range between $665 million and $815 million.

The variation reflects the number of hotel rooms delivered – ranging from a 600-room high down to a 125-room low.

This could be offset by including additional residential apartments and commercial office space of up to 10,000 square metres.

In both scenarios, the casino area is less than five per cent of the total floor area available.

Additional elements would be expected to include open public spaces.

Speaker of the Queensland Parliament and Member for Mulgrave Curtis Pitt said a Global Tourism Hub would help grow tropical North Queensland’s share of the international visitor market.

“A Global Tourism Hub would help us tap into major growth of the rising Asian middle class,” he said.

“China will continue to remain a significant driver of growth. Combined with stronger Indian visitor numbers and the mature European and American markets, it’s more important than ever before that we deliver new tourism infrastructure in the Far North.”

Price Waterhouse Cooper’s Tropical North economic impact analysis showed after the introduction of gaming and the opening of two integrated resorts in Singapore in 2010, Marina Bay Sands and Resorts World Sentosa, the country experienced a significant increase in tourism numbers.

Visitors grew by 20 per cent from 2009 to 2010.

Crown Melbourne experienced a 14 per cent increase in international visitors between 2007 and 2012, despite the limited growth in international arrivals to Australia during that same period of only 4.2 per cent.

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