Cairns, Australia : Australia, the world’s famous tourism destination, added another leaf to its popular tourism initiatives, and the tourism infrastructure witnessed a major boom when Australia tourism development plan made its way to tropical north Queensland, with the construction of the $50 million Cairns Aquarium and Reef Research Centre, which began its work officially this week and announced the much-awaited construction of Cairns aquarium, the project which has got underway and initiated upon its construction work.
The brainchild of Melbourne businessman Daniel Leipnik, who wanted to offer a Great Barrier Reef experience to tourists too scared to go into the water, the three-level ultra-modern aquarium is to open in January 2017 on a 4003-square-metre block in the heart of Cairns.It will be designed into 11 geographical zones representing the reef ecosystems, a restaurant and function centre and an aquaculture research and development centre.
Federal Trade Minister Andrew Robb, took a tour of the aquarium site this week to mark the start of the project, and said tourism infrastructure was one of the government’s national investment priorities.He said — The aquarium is a great example of developing northern Australia. Adding to the stock of high-quality tourism infrastructure is fundamental if we are to continue to attract more than our share of international visitors. One of the key roles of government in supporting these types of projects is to help actively facilitate them through the approval process which can be quite daunting.
Robb toured the site after attending the Northern Australia Investment Forum in Darwin earlier this week. The forum linked global investors with real projects across the region, including tourism projects. Tourism infrastructure is one of the government’s national investment priorities.
The Cairns region attracts 4.8 million visitors annually, generating $3.1 billion for the local economy. The aquarium will be the only facility of its kind to simulate the habitats and ecosystems of Tropical North Queensland and is the first public aquarium to be built in Australia in 17 years.
Once operational, the aquarium and research centre will cover 7,500 squaremetres over three levels. Visitors will be able to get up close with many of the region’s rare, unusual, even deadly creatures. Some of the unique creatures the Cairns Aquarium plans to exhibit include seven-metre scrub pythons, giant blue earthworms, and box jellyfish along with more than 15,000 other animals, fish, plants, and other organisms.Robb informed, Cairns aquarium would have a permanent, state-of-the-art reef research and technology development centre, which will research species for live export and also coral reef preservation, and would present itself as a great example of an innovative Australian business creating the very best facilities to attract visitors from around the world.
The latest figures from Tourism Research Australia show the long awaited recovery in north Queensland is under way as overnight stays have reached 9 million nights in 2014-15, the highest level in more than a decade, and Chinese visitor numbers have doubled in the last five years to 165,000 annually. The projects underway include a $45 million adventure water park; the $200 million refurbishment and redevelopment of the Sheraton Mirage Resort in Port Douglas; a $23 million upgrade of the Tobruk Memorial Pool into an aquatic and leisure centre, and a $65 million Cairns Performing Arts Centre due for completion in early 2017.