CLSA: Australia Is In The Middle Of A $40 Billion Wave Of New Tourism Projects

The development site at Barangaroo in Sydney. Photo: Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images

Local and foreign investors and governments are putting $40 billion into major tourism-related projects in Australia, according to research by CLSA.

The investment house identified the new projects in meetings with 50 industry contacts across eight Australian cities.

Tourism is one of the sectors the Federal Government has targeted to offset declining resources investment over the next two years, with a plan to double tourism expenditure by 2020.

“Australian governments of all political stripes have not been renowned for strategic vision,” CLSA says in its report, The Next Wave.

“However, new CLSA Australia research shows that the government’s Tourism 2020 initiative could be more than just a catch-phrase.”

CLSA expects outbound departures from China to double to 200 million by 2020 from 98 million in 2013.

“Now is the time for government and industry to pull together to revamp its tourism industry in order to compete with rival (Chinese) tourist destinations such as Japan, Thailand, Taiwan, Singapore and South Korea, which are all actively vying for the Chinese tourist dollar,” CLSA says.

CLSA says the numerous new tourism related projects and developments highlighted in the report are evidence of a coordinated whole-of-government approach towards tourism growth and seeking foreign investors for infrastructure development.

Markets set to benefit are Sydney and South-East Queensland (Brisbane/Gold Coast). Perth and Adelaide also have relatively large projects. Melbourne is absent.

The projects include:

  • NSW: Major transformation of the Darling Harbour precinct with new convention and exhibition centre, sale of two historic CBD buildings for tourism purposes and a new casino in Barangaroo.
  • QLD: Redevelopment of Brisbane’s Queens Wharf including a casino and new Starwood W Hotel. Aquis’ $8 billion integrated resort complex in Cairns, the $7.5 billion ASF Resort and Cruise terminal and the $900 million Jewel project on the Gold Coast.
  • WA: Waterfront transformations including $6 billion development of Elizabeth Quay that incorporates a new Ritz Carlton Hotel and $2 billion East Perth Riverside development. There is also a $5.3 billion urban renewal project planned for Perth city including a new arena as well as revitalisation of Perth Stadium, Museum and Cultural Centre.
  • SA: $4 billion from state government coffers to develop the Riverbank precinct; expansion of Adelaide Convention Centre, revitalise Festival Centre Plaza and improve infrastructure.

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