Global Tourism Hub could create thousands of jobs in Cairns

New economic modelling released today shows a Global Tourism Hub in Cairns could create as many as 2300 jobs in Tropical North Queensland.

Tourism Industry Development Minister Kate Jones said PWC’s Tropical North GTH economic impact analysis showed a GTH in the underutilised Ports North precinct could attract between 50,000 and 500,000 extra tourists a year once it’s fully operational.

Ms Jones said the report also showed between 150,000 and 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 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 staying longer and spending more money in Cairns.”

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

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

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

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

Mr Healy said PWC estimated over a 30-year period 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 PWC report released today 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 – varying from a 600-room high down to 125. This could be offset by including additional residential apartments (up to 100) and commercial office space (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 to 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.”

PWC’s Tropical North GTH 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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