Acting Premier and Treasurer Curtis Pitt and Tourism Minister Kate Jones has welcomed Ghassan Aboud’s tourism and hospitality group Crystalbrook Collection’s announcement to buy the Reef Marina in Port Douglas and invest $1 million to expand the site to tap into the booming superyacht market.
Mr Pitt said the announcement was encouraging for investment in Port Douglas and Far North Queensland.
“Today’s announcement demonstrates confidence in the tourism industry in Far North Queensland and our future economic growth,” Mr Pitt said.
“It is great news for the Port Douglas community, creating jobs and booting the local economy.
“It is also timely, considering the development of the Palaszczuk Government’s new superyacht strategy which I announced in August.”
Ms Jones said the move was a further show of investor confidence in Queensland’s $25 billion tourism industry.
“This announcement adds yet another project to the strong investment pipeline poised to deliver more than $14 billion statewide in new tourism product and access infrastructure across the state,” she said.
The expansion of the Marina, to be known as Crystalbrook Superyacht Marina, is set to include an additional 24 berths to the existing 132 berths and able to accommodate superyachts of up to 50 metres in length.
It includes construction of a luxury waterfront five star hotel, 50 premium residences and retail complex expected to commence in mid-2018.
Crystalbrook Collection CEO Mark Davie said: “We are capitalising on a different offering which complements our other investments of more than $370 million in Far North Queensland, with three hotels in Cairns currently under construction.
“This latest development is set to generate more than 600 jobs during construction and around 240 permanent jobs post completion.”
Ms Jones said strong investor confidence and new attractions such as the newly opened Cairns Aquarium was matched by the Palaszczuk Government’s steps to boost arrivals through improved aviation access.
“The recent announcements of new direct routes to Cairns by Hainan Airlines and China Southern Airlines will provide more opportunities to grow the economy and jobs in support of our tourism businesses,” she said.
“These flights were backed by the Palaszczuk Government and will allow Cairns and the surrounding region to capitalise on Queensland’s most valuable and fastest growing international market.
“Our major projects and new investment in tourism infrastructure, attractions and experiences will play a huge role in the future of Queensland.
“Importantly it also makes Queensland a more attractive destination for investors such as Crystalbrook Collection and we will continue to work with industry to create the best tourism experiences in the world.”