Premier Campbell Newman has lauded news of the proposed refurbishment of Sheraton Mirage Port Douglas (SMPD) following a trade mission to China with Cairns Regional Council Mayor, Bob Manning.
“Queensland is on the cusp of a massive boom in tourism with new investments on the table in Port Douglas and Cairns, as well as burgeoning interest from tourists from the UAE, China and Japan,” Mr Newman said.
While yet to be finalised, plans for the 25-year-old Starwood resort are said to include a $200 million plus refurbishment of the existing hotel and Mirage Country Club, but are yet to be confirmed.
Mayor Bob Manning said the proposed refurbishment would help create many jobs.
“The initial plans involve a massive refurbishment of the existing hotel,” Cr Manning said.
“There will be an upgrade of the golf course and there are also new works, but that is for them (SMPD) to release.
“We saw a roll-out of the plans; it wasn’t given to us with a breakdown of expenses, but we are talking about a lot of money.”
Sheraton Mirage Port Douglas General Manager, Lachlan Walker, said it was still too early to release any further details.
“However, we are very excited with the announced plans for Sheraton Mirage Port Douglas and look forward to working with the Fullshare Group,” he said, referring to the Chinese-based investors reported to have bought out former owner, David Mariner.
Cr Manning said details of the plans needed to be highlighted sooner rather than later.
“The intention is to get it submitted (by the developer) as soon as possible – we are talking weeks, not months,” he said.
“If you’re talking about a couple of hundred million dollars, you’re talking about a lot of jobs (to be created).”
Premier Newman said recent figures showing a 32 per cent spike in the number of visitors from China had fuelled confidence among tourism operators.
“The challenge for the Queensland tourism industry and Government is to deliver on commitments in the DestinationQ strategy, as well as to lock in streamlined project approvals with the Federal Government to cut red tape and support new investments in hotels and resorts,” Premier Newman said.