Australia-based Upsense Media Capital has announced their AUD20 million acquisition of the freehold Dunk Island. Situated in the outskirts of Queensland, the island was previously a tourism icon in Queensland and is divided into three areas: A national park, a freehold-developmental region, and a council-owned area that is used for camping. The freehold area once featured the Dunk Island Resort, a 160-key upscale family resort that featured multiple restaurants, a tennis court, a golf course, and a day spa. Other leftover facilities on the island include a mainland power connection grid, perpetual water supply systems, extensive utility infrastructure, and a commercial-ready sealed airstrip. Upsense Media Capital Managing General Partner, Mark Spillane, mentioned that he is looking forward to working with the local community, regional and state government, and other key stakeholders in developing Dunk Island into a sustainable and iconic Australian asset.
The New South Wales (“NSW”) government has recently released the 2021 Budget with millions allocated to the tourism industry. An AUD200 million ‘State Significant Event Fund’ will be setup to secure future major events and promote NSW as a premier state to visit and do businesses in over the upcoming four years. AUD40 million will be also reserved to attract major blockbuster art and museum exhibitions to NSW and boost cultural tourism. In addition, an AUD20 million investment will fund a new round of accommodation voucher distribution valued at AUD100 each to stay in Sydney’s hotels. Building on the success of the state-wide ‘Dine and Discover’ voucher program, the current program will extend until 31 July 2021 and an additional AUD50 million will be funded into a new ‘Dine and Discover’ voucher program to accelerate turnovers on Fridays in Sydney. A record pipeline of AUD108.5 billion is also allocated into infrastructure construction, including AUD3.1 billion for the ‘More Trains, More Services’ program to modernise the rail network and AUD2 billion to upgrade the Great Western Highway to reduce traffic congestion. The allocation is deemed necessary to facilitate NSW’s economic recovery and offset the negative impact brought by COVID-19-related uncertainty and border closure.
The construction of the first international cruise ship terminal (“ICST”) at Philippines’ Luzon region is anticipated to go full swing. This comes after a formal groundbreaking ceremony led by the Department of Public Works and Highways (“DPWH”) Secretary, Mark Vilar, was held on 15 June 2021. The ICST project will be built at a total cost of PHP920 million, and the first phase includes the construction of the rock and causeway and reclamation of a portion of the Legazpi City Boulevard and Alba Gulf. DPWH-Bicol regional director, Virgilio Eduarte, has said that the ICST is a world-class travel facility and is being considered a mega-tourism project that would contribute to the enhancement of Central Philippines’ tourism industry. Legazpi Mayor, Noel Rosal, said in a separate interview that this project will uplift Legazpi’s tourism industry by boosting arrivals from overseas tourists. He pointed out that the project includes the construction of a seaport that can accommodate a 300-metre-long tourism cruise ship – the standard size of the international cruise ships, and that the terminal’s strategic location will provide a scenic view of the Mayon Volcano. Currently, the first phase is close to 65% completion and a total of PHP150 million of the project’s budget has been spent.
The construction of an ecotourism project worth more than VND3.66 trillion (USD159.61 million) in Thanh Hoa is set to begin. This comes after a ceremony was held at Nghi Son township, the north-central coastal province of Thanh Hoa, on 23 June 2021. The ecotourism site spans 84.8 hectares and is invested by the Vietnam-based T&T Group (“T&T”). It will feature beachfront villas, a five-star hotel, a shopping area, a golf course, pedestrian zones, and recreation facilities, among others. With the creation of a chain of tourism sites along Thanh Hoa’s coastline, this project aims to help boost socio-economic development at the locality and surrounding regions. The first phase of the project is set to complete in October 2022, with the expected completion to be in May 2024. At the ceremony, the Vice Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee, Nguyen Van Thi, asked local authorities to continue helping T&T address bottlenecks in terms of land and legal procedures, on top of supporting locals affected by the project’s implementation. Meanwhile, T&T was asked to ensure the progress and quality of the project in compliance with regulations.
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