Aug 02, 2016

Resorts revamp tagged to reef economy

Resorts revamp tagged to reef economy

The state government is looking at rejuvenating run-down tourist resorts as one way of helping make a dollar off the great Barrier Reef.

Minister for the Great Barrier Reef, Dr Steven Miles has set up an inter-agency working group will identify ways to maximise economic opportunities.

The move would help ensure the tourism industry and regional economies fully benefited from some of the best real estate in the world, Dr Steven Miles said.

“This Government is committed to ensuring that we develop a strong and sustainable eco-tourism industry in the Great Barrier Reef,” Dr Miles said.

“The Great Barrier Reef resorts are an iconic part of Queensland’s tourism industry, however a number are unfortunately run down and not operating.

“The Queensland Government is working to turn this around, and is working with the tourism industry to rejuvenate our reef island resorts.

“I strongly support tourism opportunities and experiences on the Great Barrier Reef. Securing the reef’s iconic reputation and flow-on benefits to the tourism sector are key considerations moving forward.

“An inter-agency working group has been considering relevant issues and identifying opportunities to improve economic opportunities for the Great Barrier Reef,” Dr Miles said.

Of the 24 resorts on leasehold land in the Great Barrier Reef, 13 are open. Of the remaining 11, nine have redevelopment plans in place and the other two are subject to private party negotiations to resolve their future.

It was important the reef island resorts were rejuvenated to “offer world-class experiences to visitors”, said Tourism Minister Kate Jones.

“Anyone who has visited the Whitsunday islands knows just how breathtaking they are,” Ms Jones said.

“Our Reef islands are already experiencing a new wave of investor interest including the redevelopment of Hayman Island, planned expansion of Hamilton Island Resort, refurbishment of Daydream and new up-scale eco-resorts planned for Lindeman and Brampton Islands.

“In the last 12 months, the Whitsundays welcomed more than 655,000 visitors.

“Tourism is worth more than $800 million to the region and supports more than 7,000 local jobs,” she said.