Plan to spur Brisbane tourism growth

By: Chris Smith

Premier Anna Bligh has unveiled state government ‘catalyst’ proposals for ten iconic tourism projects for the Brisbane region 20 years

Premier Anna Bligh has unveiled state government ‘catalyst’ proposals for ten iconic tourism projects for the Brisbane region 20 years after Expo 88 first put Brisbane on the map.

The new tourism draw cards include a national indigenous centre at South Bank, a cable car ride to a revamped Mount Coot-tha look out and a second shipping terminal for Brisbane.

The regional tourism investment and infrastructure plan – to be released for public comment - is a part of the Queensland Government’s 10-year Queensland Tourism Strategy. <

The draft plan, a partnership between Tourism Queensland and Brisbane Marketing, details more than 30 investment opportunities and 10 catalyst projects in Brisbane and its surrounding regions.

Over 300 industry operators, developers and investors were consulted in the preparation of the report.

The 10 catalyst projects identified as possible triggers for further development and growth in the region were:
  1. An internationally significant national Indigenous centre visitor attraction at South Bank.

  2. A Moreton Bay aquarium and marine discovery centre at North Bank.
  3. A ‘Story of Brisbane’ high-tech interpretation centre and a viewing platform of Greater Brisbane and the Scenic Rim at Mt Coot-tha. The project could include a cable car system between the lookout and the botanic gardens.
  4. Two new or redeveloped major piers for river boat and island services from Brisbane city centre.
  5. A second shipping terminal up river to support existing facilities and address the needs of the new, larger cruise ships visiting Brisbane.
  6. Two new international five to six star hotels to be built at Victoria Park and in the CBD offering more than 600 new rooms.
  7. Ipswich to extend its successful railway heritage theme to create a tourism precinct with a conference centre and accommodation facilities.
  8. A major walk with quality hut and lodge-style accommodation in the Scenic Rim World Heritage National Parks.
  9. Development of a major Moreton Bay ferry terminus at or near the mouth of the Brisbane River for a faster and more effective link between the CBD and the Moreton Bay islands.
  10. An eco-lodge on Moreton Island using the existing lighthouse and surrounding infrastructure.

The Premier says the state government was interested to hear from any developers who showed an interest in building the projects.

Estimates of the investment required for each of the projects ranged from $20,000 to $200 million.

These ten projects have been identified as things that will further establish Brisbane as a tourism destination in itself," the Premier says.

"They are intended to provoke debate and interest amongst the public and amongst developers and operators who may had an interest in building them.

"It has been 20 years since Expo 88 first put Brisbane on the world map," Bligh says.

"Since that time we have seen the region mature into a thriving and vibrant city surrounded by beautiful natural attractions."

Tourism Minister Desley Boyle says the proposals have the potential to take the Brisbane region to the next level as a tourist destination.

"In the last ten years, domestic visitors to Brisbane have increased by 22 percent and international visitors have increased by 28 percent,’’ she says.

"While tourism has charted strong growth, now more than ever, we need to ensure we have a plan in place so we are well placed to be a competitive and attractive destination over the next 20 years."

Tourism Queensland and Brisbane Marketing are holding workshops over the next week in the Brisbane and greater Brisbane region to discuss the plan with local government and industry leaders who have been part of the consultation process.

"The final plan will be released later this year after which project priorities will be set," says the Premier.

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