Global Tourism Hub announced for three Cairns companies


Minister for Innovation and Tourism Industry Development and Minister for the Commonwealth Games The Honourable Kate Jones

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 the Cairns CBD.

Tourism Industry Development Minister Kate Jones said to have three highly-respected players in the entertainment industry keen to take this game-changing project forward was a vote of confidence in Tropical North Queensland.

Detailed proposals will come from:

  • Hard Rock International

  • Reef Casino Joint Venture

  • The Star Entertainment Group

“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.

“That means more jobs for Queenslanders, especially in Cairns.

“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.

“We’re 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 Government decided that a gaming licence would be offered to encourage development of world-class tourism infrastructure in the Tropical North following the withdrawal of the 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.”

Speaker of the Queensland Parliament and Member for Mulgrave Curtis Pitt said the next step was for the government to begin an interactive tender process with the three shortlisted companies.

The process will allow an opportunity for the proponents to demonstrate their vision and innovation in developing an iconic proposal for this under-utilised but important part of the 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,” he said.

“It will also incorporate dynamic public facilities for residents and visitors.

“All of this will reflect Tropical North Queensland - our lifestyle, our history and our two unique indigenous cultures. This will be a landmark international development.

“We’ll continue to work with Cairns Regional Council and key stakeholders including Ports North and Tourism Tropical North Queensland to get the best possible outcome for Cairns and the Tropical North.

“We will also continue the ongoing community information process to ensure locals residents are kept up-to-date.”

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

“This is all 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.

“I’m proud to be part of a government that’s delivering the new tourism infrastructure that Cairns needs to grow.”

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

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

Media Contact:
 Jack Harbour 0419 620 447

Renegade Moss