According to The Australian Financial Review, tourism hot-spots along the Queensland coast, from the Gold and Sunshine Coast to Port Douglas in Far North Queensland are starting to bounce back after a few quiet years.
When Queensland businessman Peter Kendall and his business partner Brad Rankin bought the Big Pineapple on the Sunshine Coast in 2011 they hoped there might be an opportunity one day to resurrect the iconic tourist attraction.
Six years later, with the state's coal boom well and truly finished and with the Australian dollar falling to about US75 cents, the owners have pulled the trigger on a multi-million dollar redevelopment of the Big Pineapple in an attempt to make the destination appeal to a new generation.
It is another project in Queensland's billion dollar tourism resurgence which is moving to capitalise on the tourism "sweet spot" of a lower Australian dollar and record number of international visitors coming to Australia, including from the fast-growing and big-spending Chinese middle class.
Some of the other big projects in the tourism pipeline include Japanese company Iwasaki Sangyo's $600 million redevelopment of its Capricorn Resort in Yeppoon in Central Queensland and the new Chinese owners of Day Dream Island, the Chinese Capital Investment Group, spending $50 million on refurbishing the Whitsundays island resort.
This week Dubai-based Syrian billionaire Ghassan Aboud confirmed he would develop a third hotel in Cairns - in a $100 million development - after buying a motel and an office building on the esplanade.
The developers are hoping to take advantage on the surge of tourists to Australia, especially Queensland, with the Palaszczuk government hoping more than 20,000 new jobs will be created in the state's $23 billion tourism industry over the next four years.
Queensland Tourism Minister Kate Jones said there was more than $13 billion worth of big tourism infrastructure projects in the pipeline over the next five years alone.
"Tourism is a $23 billion industry which supports 220,000 jobs in our state and we are committed to growing the industry further," she said.
China is on track to become Australia's number one tourism market this year, with 1.19 million visitors to the end of November. Across the board, international tourism is up 11.3 per cent, with close to 8.2 million to the end of last year.
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