Having seen the success of similar integrated gambling resorts in Singapore, Australian officials are hoping to create iconic developments capable of attracting millions of tourists. The resorts are set to be built in Brisbane, the nearby Gold Coast and in the more remote northern part of the state, dubbed ‘regional Queensland’.
In line with the rest of the gaming world, these plans are aimed at attracting the lucrative Chinese tourism market, which continues to grow at a rapid rate. Queensland is already the second most popular destination behind New Zealand and the new developments would be seen as a huge step towards securing a long-term tourism legacy. Investments in the project could exceed AUD $17 billion and create over 5,000 construction jobs and 30,000 permanent jobs.
Queensland attracted 259,000 Chinese tourists last year and experts believe that by 2020 Chinese tourists will account for one-third of the revenue raised by visitors to Australia. For Queensland, that would mean an additional AUD $2.85 billion raised by Chinese tourists on an annual basis. While these figures are being used to justify the huge investments, there are some commentators who believe the plans will fail to take off outside of Brisbane where the casino license is intended to anchor the redevelopment of the central business district.
A firm decision may still be some way off, but it will be interesting to see if the Gold Coast can make waves in the lucrative Asian casino market.