AN OPEN LETTER TO THE PEOPLE OF CAIRNS AND QUEENSLAND
In September 2012 my company acquired an option on a 750 acre site at Yorkey’s Knob north of Cairns to lay the base for the implementation of my vision for a fully integrated resort that fundamentally changes the economy of Cairns and Queensland. I have called the project Aquis Great Barrier Reef Resort.
For the last nine months my advisory team has been undertaking the necessary work to determine the viability of my vision and prepare a proposal for the consideration of the Queensland Government. My commitment to Aquis, and belief in the opportunity it presents, has been strengthened and fortified as that work has been completed.
Based upon my business exposure to Asian markets via my family’s involvement in the Hong Kong/China finance and property markets I have seen and observed, with great interest, the rapid and exponential growth of Macau. It cannot be disputed that Macau’s growth has been driven by a new breed of substantial integrated resort. The model is being rapidly adopted and accepted by Queensland’s tourism competitors in the Asia Pacific region.
With over 15 years’ experience investing in North Queensland I have recognised the unique suitability of the Cairns region to develop an integrated resort, based upon the Macau model, but presented differently via a design and marketing linkage to North Queensland and the Great Barrier Reef. Queensland has an opportunity with this proposal to join other countries in our region that are developing large-scale integrated resorts which drive local tourism, employment and associated economic growth.
The Aquis proposal is unique, in Asian integrated resort terms, by associating its appeal to the unique natural environment and region it is located in. Aquis will be, by its very design and market position, a high profile project to drive Asian tourism awareness of North Queensland and the Great Barrier Reef.
Ten years ago Chinese tourism visitation to Queensland was minimal. I compare that to figures released recently where Chinese are now the second most predominant tourism nation to Queensland (and rising). Aquis (the man-made wonder) and the Great Barrier Reef (your incredibly beautiful wonder of the world) will ensure, in perpetuity, Queensland receives more than its fair share of inbound tourism from China. Aquis gives Queensland an opportunity to fend off its southern and regional competitors for the increasingly important Chinese tourism market.
While attracting international visitors is an important part of our proposal, Aquis will also play an important role for the Queensland economy by:
- increasing employment opportunities for Queenslanders from as early as next year.
- increasing economic expenditure and investment in Queensland
- increasing state revenue and improving the state’s finances
- providing a wonderful facility for locals and domestic tourists
- driving international and domestic tourism visitation and expenditure for the benefit of all small business operators in North Queensland.
The proposal provides the Queensland Government with the opportunity to further demonstrate its commitment to two of Queensland’s economic pillars – tourism and construction.
At this stage it is the stated intent (working in partnership with the Queensland Government, the local authorities, community and other stakeholders) of the Aquis consortia, after an appropriate approval and licensing process, to commence significant site works in mid 2014, with project completion slated for 2018.
Aquis Great Barrier Reef Resort