Townsville North Queensland is set for a makeover.
Between CBD beautification plans, innovative diving and snorkelling attractions, the largest lagoon in Northern Australia and major events set to blow your socks off – Townsville’s tourism landscape is positioned for a major transformation.
A number of game-changing projects are currently in the pipeline for the region, each having the capacity to cement Townsville as not only a vibrant and culturally diverse destination to visit, but a highly liveable and dynamic city for its residents.
One of the game-changing projects currently in the pipeline includes an attraction that cannot be experienced anywhere else in the Southern Hemisphere, potentially attracting visitation from all over the world. Internationally acclaimed artist, Jason deCaires Taylor, has recently visited Townsville to scope a Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Underwater Art Museum for snorkelling and diving.
Inter tidal art installations are planned for sites along The Strand and Magnetic Island with major underwater art sites under consideration for Palm Island and the outer reefs off Townsville. Not only would this project significantly expand the city and region’s tourism offerings, but minimise human impact on natural coral sites on fringing reefs.
The world’s first underwater art museum, created by Taylor off the coast of Grenada in 2006, is now listed by National Geographic as one of the Top 25 Wonders of the World. The Museo Subacuático de Arte off the coast of Cancun, Mexico, created by the artist in 2009, resulted in an increase of annual visitor numbers of almost 400,000. This is a unique opportunity for Townsville to follow in these footsteps and develop an internationally recognised experience on the Great Barrier Reef.
Townsville’s tourism landscape is positioned for a major transformation.
wnsville into a unique and high quality destination has also recently been tabled by project management specialists, Pure Projects. Pure Projects was appointed to provide a review of the existing CBD and the designated Priority Development Areas (PDA) that will enable the reactivation of major tourist areas, such as Castle Hill, The Strand, Rowes Bay and Radical Bay on Magnetic Island.
Key points in the masterplan for transforming Townsville include revitalising The Strand, greening the CBD, bridge and tunnel linkages to the new stadium, hotel development, arts and cultural precincts, ferry terminal upgrades and extensions to connect to the new stadium, a concert hall and Northern Australia’s largest lagoon. These projects will not only cast a new and improved light on Townsville, but reignite the local community through the delivery of significant economic stimulus at a time when we need it most.
Townsville has also locked in a considerable number of major events to be hosted in the city. These events will provide the opportunity to showcase our piece of paradise on an international stage. Events that Townsville will play host to in 2017 and 2018 already includes Commonwealth Games basketball heats, Rugby League World Cup pool matches, international cricket of England versus Australia A and the Queensland Symphony Orchestra tour, to name but a few. Given the significant contribution that events provide the local economy and their ability to have direct and positive impacts on visitation, events are certainly one of the region’s greatest tourism assets.
A burgeoning cruise ship industry is also changing the face of Townsville’s tourism landscape. Already, 18 cruise ships are locked in for 2018, with the very first partial turnaround for a cruise ship in September 2018. The partial turnaround will enable 400 passengers to disembark and embark a cruise ship in Townsville. This adds another significant element of liveability to our region as it means locals looking for a cruise ship holiday will not be required to fly to a capital city to board a ship. Growing the Townsville North Queensland cruise industry has been a key priority for local industry leaders, with significant attention paid to providing exceptional welcome experiences to passengers visiting our shores and selling our destination to international travellers.
Townsville as a tourism destination is destined for growth and with that will come transformation. This won’t be beyond recognition, we’ll still be the ‘bush meets the beach’ region we all know and love. But a few nip and tucks won’t hurt to shine the spotlight on this special place we call home.