Cairns looks to business events

THE Cairns & Great Barrier Reef region is undergoing a renaissance with millions of dollars of investment underway in tourism and events infrastructure.

Tourism Tropical North Queensland (TTNQ) director of business and tourism events Rosie Douglas said new hotels, an arts precinct, waterfront brewery, upgrades to conference facilities and a marina were among the region’s latest developments.

“The Cairns Convention Centre has announced an expansion with an additional 3,000m2 of space for exhibitions and meetings from 2019,” she said.

The $176 million expansion will also include a new atrium and upgrade to the existing facilities. Work is set to commence after the Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast in April.

The Crystalbrook Collection has unveiled plans to construct three new luxury hotels in Cairns with the first to open in August 2018 as a five-star resort with 311 suites on the Cairns Esplanade.

The company will also develop a six-star property in Port Douglas following its acquisition of the Port Douglas Reef Marina.

The Sheraton Mirage Port Douglas Resort has rebranded as Sheraton Grand Mirage Resort Port Douglas following a $40 million upgrade to its event and hotel facilities.

Douglas said the new infrastructure would build on the popularity of Cairns & Great Barrier Reef as a business events destination and would give the region a great appeal to key international markets such as the United States.