18 September 2014, Written by Nick Nichols

GOLD Coast cruise ship terminal could single-handedly supercharge growth in the Queensland tourism industry by a staggering 800 per cent, says project hopeful ASF Consortium.

The group, which had its wings clipped by the state government earlier this month with The Spit declared a no-go zone for development, has seized on the latest tourism growth figures to highlight the projected benefit the cruise ship terminal and casino resort will deliver to the state’s economy.

The government has revealed that the Queensland tourism industry has grown by $3.5 billion over the past three years, adding 27,000 new jobs to the economy.

ASF Consortium has forecast its integrated resort development on Wavebreak Island could generate $8.9 billion a year in new tourism spending alone and 12,275 new jobs by 2028.

“This represents growth in annual Queensland tourism revenue of more than eight times the current rate, generated from one project alone,” says ASF Consortium project director Allan Fife.

“To make a simple comparison, the annual increase in tourism revenue will grow from the current rate of $1.15 billion to $10 billion each year upon completion of all hotels and serviced apartments within the project.

“The project will also create new tourism jobs equivalent to more than a year’s worth of growth from the total tourism industry. This makes the Gold Coast cruise ship terminal and integrated resort development an essential addition to tourism in Queensland.”

Fife says the loss of The Spit as a development option will have no impact on the projected economic benefit as “adjustments will be made to the master plan accordingly’’.

ASF Consortium is basing its economic forecasts on research compiled by property advisory firm MacroPlan Dimasi.

“This project will attract a huge number of new tourists to the Gold Coast,” says Brian Haratsis, the managing director of MacroPlan Dimasi.

“The project’s emphasis is on new visitors and growing Australia’s share of the international market, not just shuffling around existing visitation,” he says.

“Based on pretty conservative analysis, the project will generate around 477,000 additional visitor nights on the Gold Coast by 2020 and then continue to grow from there.

“This visitation underpins the success of businesses operating within the project and also means big business for existing tour operators and tourism businesses across the region.”

The cruise ship terminal project is still undergoing the engineering and planning process and continues to be opposed by community groups, including the Surfrider Foundation.

The options for a terminal are either on the east side or north side of Wavebreak Island which will services about 75 cruise ships a year, bringing 170,000 passengers a year to the Gold Coast by 2020.

Author: Nick Nichols





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