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Three candidates shortlisted for Cairns Tourism Hub

Tue, Mar 19, 8:54am by Staff Writer

One of Tropical North Queensland’s most exciting tourism projects is one step closer to reality, with three firms shortlisted to develop a Global Tourism Hub in Cairns.

Queensland’s Tourism Industry Development Minister Kate Jones is said to have three highly-respected players in the entertainment industry keen on taking up a game-changing project in North Queensland.

According to The Hotel Conversation, Hard Rock International, Reef Casino Joint Venture and The Star Entertainment Group are the three bidders vying for the Global Tourism Hub contract.

“Our vision is simple – to create a world-class tourism hub in Tropical North Queensland that attracts more international and domestic tourists, who stay longer and spend more in the region,” Ms Jones said.

“In addition to the tourism benefits, a Global Tourism Hub will transform Cairns – linking the Cruise Ship Terminal, the Cairns Convention Centre and the CBD,” she said.

“We are committed to growing the tourism industry in Tropical North Queensland. A GTH will support upgrades proposed for the convention centre and the dredging proposed for Trinity Inlet.”

In October 2017, the Queensland Government decided that a gaming license would be offered to encourage development of a world-class tourism infrastructure project in the tropical North after the withdrawal of Aquis Yorkey’s Knob proposal.

“The three firms named today are companies with strong international and domestic reputations for delivering high quality mixed use, hotel and entertainment and gaming projects,” Ms Jones said.

“These companies recognise that with the reef, rainforests and world heritage areas on its doorstep, Cairns has huge potential as an international hub for tourists.”

The three candidates will commence an interactive tender process, allowing them the opportunity to demonstrate their vision and innovation in developing an iconic proposal for the under-utilised, but important part of Cairns’ CBD.

“As a Global Tourism Hub, this will go far beyond just a stand-alone casino – it will include facilities like luxury hotels, high-end retail, restaurant and entertainment,” Queensland’s Member for Mulgrave Curtis Pitt said.

Member for Cairns Michael Healy said a Global Tourism Hub would be a game changer for Tropical North Queensland.

“This is about partnering with the private sector to create sustainable jobs in Cairns. We know a Global Tourism Hub would create jobs for locals,” he said,.

“Today’s announcement means we’re one step closer to having a world-class entertainment hub in the middle of Cairns.

The shortlisted companies will be required to lodge fully-developed proposals with the government by July 2019.

A formal announcement regarding the successful developer is not expected until late 2019 or early 2020.

Gold Coast Global Tourism Hub plans move forward

This announcement comes after the Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk confirmed Queensland is pushing ahead with its plan for a Global Tourism Hub on the Gold Coast.

The Premier asked for registrations of interest for the “best proposal that would boost the tourism and entertainment offering for the city,” according to the MyGC website.

Potential proponents will have until April to register their interest.

The news comes after backlash from local residents, as well as The Star, who claim its $2 billion Broadbeach masterplan is already the tourism hub for the city.

The Star Entertainment Group is said to be keen on adding a new concert venue to its precinct that would attract high-profile performers.

The group’s chief executive officer Matt Bekier says the proposed entertainment offering would help the Gold Coast compete with Australia’s major capital cities to host major acts from around the country and the globe.

“An outdoor venue that can stage concerts of small and large scale would drive great cut-through and further enhance the Gold Coast as a music destination,” Mr Bekier said.

The Star’s recent announcement comes after the second Gold Coast casino’s Global Tourism Hub looks to compete with the existing offering on the Coast.

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