Frequently asked questions

Policy and general

  • What is a Global Tourism Hub (GTH)?

    Global Tourism Hubs (GTH) are a strategy for Queensland that delivers world-class tourism infrastructure. GTHs deliver catalyst projects (including Integrated Resorts) that support city building objectives and other complementary projects, while optimising the broader community gains including regional jobs, investment and associated flow-on developments.

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  • What is the state’s criteria for future Global Tourism Hubs?

    Any new regional Global Tourism Hub proposal must:

    • be located within close proximity to a major population centre with a catchment of at least 150,000 people within a 70 kilometre radius of the regional centre
    • be near an operational international airport or an airport that is capable of being upgraded to international standards
    • have well-established transport networks and significant existing tourism infrastructure with identified growth potential
    • include significant capital investment and have to commence construction within 18 months of contractual close.
  • What are the benefits of a Global Tourism Hub?

    Global Tourism Hubs (GTHs) offer outstanding opportunities for Queensland to enhance its tourism offerings. Such developments can support major events and reinvigorate key locations and communities across the state for entertainment and recreation for both locals and visitors alike.

    In Queensland, tourism currently contributes $25 billion to the state's economy and supports over 220,000 jobs.

    The Queensland Government is committed to supporting the growth of the tourism sector.

    GTHs can help achieve this goal by going beyond the central physical economic opportunity by further contributing to increased international tourism and boosting the state's economy through tourism, especially in the regions.

  • What is the government’s position about new casinos in Queensland?

    The government has undertaken thorough market sounding to:

    • understand the market’s interest and demand for delivery of a regional IRD with a casino licence
    • undertake a market analysis on the current gaming market and international trends and demands.

    The national and international market soundings undertaken in 2017 showed that the Gold Coast and Cairns regions are clearly preferred by potential investors. The current policy is that only two new casino licences are available in regional Queensland.

    On 28 October 2017, the government announced a Global Tourism Hub (GTH) for Tropical North Queensland bringing a dynamic new tourism opportunity to the region.

  • Why is a new casino licence being made available?

    To support the economic objectives of the Global Tourism Hub, a casino licence is being offered to the market to incentivise the delivery of a range of tourism and social infrastructure that will be globally recognised for design, quality of facilities and services, appeal to diverse cultural backgrounds and access to tourism and leisure activities.

  • What is a Global Tourism Hub and how is this any different from Integrated Resort Developments?

    A Global Tourism Hub (GTH) is a further evolution of an Integrated Resort Development. GTH developments are very much part of their CBD fabric and have significant potential to inject extensive direct and indirect benefits to the local economy and community and the state.

    Through conducting a competitive procurement process and intensive community engagement for the $3B Queen’s Wharf Brisbane Integrated Resort Development, the state will work with the private sector to mandate the delivery of public realm within the Tropical North development and ensure connectivity to the wider CBD activities.

  • Following unsuccessful government Integrated Resort Development transactions, how will this new process deliver?

    The new Global Tourism Hub (GTH) competitive procurement process has implemented key learnings from previous processes and has been deliberately structured to ensure that proven operators deliver visionary developments in locations – Gold Coast and Cairns - that meet market expectations while maximising community benefits.

  • Does this mean more poker machines in Queensland?

    There is a state wide cap on gaming machines in pubs and clubs in Queensland. The Government has stated its intention not to increase the number of poker machines as a result of Global Tourism Hub developments and is developing options to achieve this.

    The mix of machines and gaming tables will be determined by negotiation between the successful proponent and the state's Gaming Regulator, Office of Liquor and Gaming Regulation within the Department of Justice and Attorney-General. This will be based on projected international visitors and population growth.

  • Does this mean more casinos?

    The evolution of Global Tourism Hubs (GTH) within a globally competitive market has resulted in developments which include a range of hospitality, tourism and entertainment facilities. GTHs are about attracting new tourism infrastructure, creating vital job-generating opportunities and securing more and longer stays especially from international visitors.

    For example, with Queen’s Wharf Brisbane the gaming element is less than 5% of the overall development. It is about incorporating a casino element to assist the private sector in delivering a number of community components, such as new and revitalised public realm.

    GTH developments are about Queensland holding and gaining market share, especially in the regions. They are delivered by the private sector with no cost or risk to the State and only proposals that meet the government’s objectives will be supported.

    Under the GTH process, there may be a new casino in the Cairns region. As with the $3.6 billion Queen’s Wharf Brisbane, it may be that the incumbent operator in Cairns could meet the objectives of the GTH process and no new licence needs to be issued. The incumbent operator was directly invited into the Tropical North GTH process.

  • Is this just a way for the government to get the incumbent to reinvest or expand?

    That would be the incumbent’s choice and they will be most welcome to be in the process.  They have good and established reputations. Any new investment in local job-creating new regional tourism opportunities will be most welcome. That is the state’s aim.

  • What about locals and pubs and clubs?

    A Global Tourism Hubs (GTH) with a casino licence operates in a very different market to pubs and clubs who do not have an international tourist focus. A GTH will specifically attract additional tourists and the premium gaming market to Cairns. This is an opportunity for local establishments and businesses to capitalise on more visitors which in turn will lead to increased visitor spend.

  • Is this an asset sale?

    The state’s Global Tourism Hub (GTH) process is not based on the sale of government land. The successful proponent may be offered a long-term lease to develop a high-quality tourism destination. At the same time, proponents can also propose to government to use privately owned land for their development, as long as it adheres the state’s criteria for a GTH. The precise nature of any tenure agreements will be considered as part of the evaluation process.

Tropical North Global Tourism Hub (Cairns)

  • What are the objectives of the Tropical North Global Tourism Hub (GTH)?

    The objectives of the Tropical North GTH project are to:

    • Deliver new 5 or 6 star hotels to Cairns to drive new tourism investment in the city and Tropical North Queensland.
    • Provide Cairns and Tropical North Queensland with an entertainment precinct, to provide the increased attraction for a wide range of tourists to visit.
    • Stimulate broad investment and economic development in Tropical North Queensland, focusing on job creation, tourism, culture, events, entertainment, food, and hospitality.
    • Stimulate the property and construction sectors of Tropical North Queensland to drive the next major phase of the city’s and region’s economic development.
    • Transform the Port of Cairns’ long-term future, complementing existing developments and drive new vigour and opportunities in its operation including; cruise shipping, superyachts, marina activities, cargo, ship works and port activities.
    • Incorporate community events and cultural activities that celebrate and support the historic cultures of Tropical North Queensland and the Torres Strait.
    • Attract more people to Cairns and Tropical North Queensland with new tourism activities, culture and events.
    • Promote social interaction and a broad range of urban activities from the city to the marina and historical wharves.
    • Obtain delivery of the Project, which is viable during its design, delivery and operation, and at no net cost or risk to the State.
  • Where is the proposed site in Cairns for the Tropical North Global Tourism Hub?

    The Queensland Government has a preferred site for the development of the Tropical North Global Tourism Hub by partnering with Ports North.

    The site is on Port North's strategic port land within the Cityport precinct at Wharf Street, Cairns. It comprises of a total area of approximately 4.4 hectares, across two sites as shown in the map below.

    At this stage, if a suitable alternate site within 70km of Cairns was proposed it too would be considered.

  • Who is Ports North and what is the Cityport project?

    Far North Queensland Ports Corporation Limited (Ports North) is a government owned corporation with ownership and control of the Port of Cairns, and significant freehold landholdings designated as strategic port land; including waterfront land adjacent to the Cairns CBD known as Cityport.

    The Cityport project is a large-scale, mixed use, urban renewal project to redevelop the Cairns waterfront. More information about the project is available on the Ports North website.

    The Tropical North Global Tourism Hub is an extension of Ports North’s vision for the development of the waterfront in Cairns through the Cityport project. This project has been developed in close consultation with the Cairns community over the past 10 years.

  • Will the Tropical North Global Tourism Hub impact existing port operations

    The Tropical North Global Tourism Hub will protect and support development of the Port of Cairns. The proposed waterfront area is fully contained within the existing footprint of Cityport on land owned by Ports North. The areas behind the Port of Cairns cargo wharves will not be impacted by this project and a key project objective is to protect and advance port operations in Cairns.

  • Why have you identified a preferred site in Cairns?

    The Global Tourism Hub (GTH) process is not just about delivering world-class tourism infrastructure but to also support city building in the regions.

    The preferred location in Cairns can support Cairns Regional Council’s objectives for the future development of the CBD.

    Market feedback indicates there is a strong preference for the Queensland Government to nominate land options and that for a GTH to provide the benefits sought, a prominent site is required.

  • Can alternate sites, other than the proposed Ports North land, be proposed for the Tropical North Global Tourism Hub?

    The Queensland Government will consider proposals for alternative sites including those on private land within the Cairns region providing it adheres to the state’s criteria for a Global Tourism Hub location being:

    • located within close proximity to a major population centre with a catchment of at least 150,000 people within a 70km radius of the regional centre
    • near an operational international airport or an airport that is capable of being upgraded to international standards
    • have well-established transport networks and significant existing tourism infrastructure with identified growth potential
    • include significant capital investment to create a development that attracts international tourists, where construction commences within 18 months of contractual close.

Market process

  • How does the Tropical North Global Tourism Hub process work?

    The Queensland Government commenced a multi-phase procurement process for delivery of the Tropical North Global Tourism Hub (GTH) in October 2017.

    Phase 1: Registration of Interest (ROI) – Registration by entities wishing to be considered for participation as a proponent in the process. The Registration of Interest was released 30 October 2017 and closed on 23 January 2018.

    Phase 2: Expressions of Interest (EOI) - In May 2018, suitably qualified proponents were invited from the ROI phase to refine their proposals for the Tropical North GTH. Proponents have until September 2018 to respond with their EOI documentation. The government will assess EOI proposals and decide whether to proceed to Phase 3.

    Phase 3: Request for Detailed Proposal(RFDP) - Shortlisted proponents from the EOI phase to further develop their concept and commercial proposal. The government will assess proposals and decide whether to proceed to Phase 4.

    Phase 4: Preferred Proponent - Announcement of the successful proponent and negotiation of binding terms.

  • Why was the closing date of the Registration of Interest (ROI) been extended to 23 January 2018?

    Due to the calling of the Queensland state election on the 29 October 2017, the government was unable to advertise the Registration of Interest (ROI) opportunity due to caretaker provisions during an election period. The government extended the ROI period to ensure the market was aware of the ROI process and to allow adequate time for the market to respond to the ROI requirements.

  • What is the Expression of Interest process and when did it commence?

    The Expression of Interest (EOI) process commenced in May 2018.

    Suitably qualified proponents from the first phase of the project, the Registration of Interest (ROI) were invited into the EOI process.

    Proponents provided their EOI responses to the State in September 2018* for assessment.

  • What happens after the Expressions of Interest phase?

    The State received the proponents’ Expression of Interest (EOI) responses in September 2018.

    The State has evaluated the EOI responses and proponents successful in this phase will be issued with the Request for Detailed Proposals (RFDP) documentation in Q1 2019.

Community consultation and local content for the Cairns region

  • How will the Queensland Government engage with the community over the Tropical North Global Tourism Hub site?

    From 20 December 2017 to 11 February 2018, the department undertook a community consultation for a Global Tourism Hub (GTH) opportunity in Tropical North Queensland (Cairns). Members of the public were invited to ‘have their say’ on what they would like in a GTH development in the Tropical North region.

    The Community Consultation Report developed by Pip Miller PR (March 2018) is available.

    This was the first stage of an ongoing and comprehensive community consultation process.

    That initial community consultation is now closed, but for more information about the GTH please contact the Tourism Development Projects Division, Department of Innovation, Tourism Industry Development and the Commonwealth Games at:

    • Email:
    • Phone: 1800 100 424 (Mon–Fri, 9am–5pm AEST)
    • Post: Tourism Development Projects Division, Department of Innovation, Tourism Industry Development and the Commonwealth Games, PO Box 15168, City East, QLD, 4002
  • What opportunities are there for local industry/suppliers to participate in the proposed Tropical North Global Tourism Hub project?

    Engaging local industry and generating jobs are key objectives for the project, and are a high priority for the Queensland Government.

    Any successful proponent will be required to create local employment opportunities and to ensure suitable local businesses are given the opportunity to tender on work packages and identify opportunities for local industry innovation.

    The successful proponent will be required to submit a Queensland Charter for Local Content Statement of Intent to demonstrate its objectives on local industry participation.

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