Greg Norman has announced the launch of a global campaign seeking investors to build and operate the largest fully approved, multi-faceted tourism infrastructure project currently in Australia on Great Keppel Island.
Norman is the Ambassador for the AUD$2 billion Tower Holdings development on the island, which includes an 18-hole championship golf course designed by him. Along with his Great White Shark Enterprises, global agents JLL have been engaged to source international investors and the prominent investment bank, Moelis & Company, has been engaged as lead financial advisor to the project.
Together, these three groups will champion the opportunity for investors to buy into the iconic project which is the largest and possibly last of its kind on the world heritage listed Great Barrier Reef. Initial interest has already been fielded with a formal investment campaign expected to start next month.
Great Keppel is one of the Reef’s most accessible islands – more than twice the size of Hamilton Island and just a 50 minute flight from Brisbane. The integrated resort development boasts government support for the delivery of 700 luxury villas, 350 luxury apartments, a five-star golf course, beachfront hotel, marina, airstrip and retail village.
Owner, Tower Holdings CEO Terry Agnew said the campaign was being launched at a time when Australia was seeking crucial investment in 5 star tourism product to meet the demands and expectations from the booming Asian travel market.
Great Keppel has a Casino zoning and Tower Holdings has lodged a submission to the Queensland Government’s current EOI invitation for Integrated Resort Developments seeking a casino licence.
Queensland Tourism Industry Council CEO Daniel Gschwind said there had not been a development of this scale in Queensland for more than 25 years.
'New 5 star tourism products and experiences will allow Queensland to tap into the enormous tourism growth potential, particularly the rising number of wealthy Asian travellers,' Gschwind said.
JLL CEO Australia Stephen Conry said Great Keppel Island represented one of those rare opportunities with an extremely well planned development, set to deliver great returns, with full government support to develop the project.
'The realization of the potential for five star facilities on the Great Barrier Reef is unquestionable and this investment opportunity has many attractive features, not least its position in one of the world’s most pristine locations in a country that has considerable growth projections for tourism in the region,' Conry said.
Tourism Australia’s General Manager of Destination Development, Katherine Droga said Australian tourism was performing well, with a record 6.5m international visitors in 2013 spending more than AUD$28b.
'The enduring appeal of our country remains strong, but to maintain and grow demand we certainly can’t afford to sit on our laurels. Investment in new tourism infrastructure has a critical part to play in Australia maintaining its global competitiveness and continuing to attract visitors who are going to stay longer, travel further and, ultimately, spend more.
'Great Keppel Island is an exciting project and represents just the kind of investment story and ‘new news’ our industry needs to keep Australia and our world class visitor experiences front of mind for both international travellers and the broader investment community,' she said.
Norman was enthusiastic about the potential for investment from world leading operators. 'I have not seen a project like this anywhere in the world. I have travelled to great islands all over the world and there is nothing like this place and nothing like the Great Barrier Reef.
'The magnitude and beauty of Great Keppel Island makes it a magnificent site, and as a Queenslander I am very honoured to be involved with bringing this vision to reality.
'Australia has lost a little of its panache in our international tourism market and this project is important for Australia – for our locals and for attracting luxury visitors back to Australia,' Norman said.
Interested parties can make their enquiries with either JLL, Moelis or Great White Shark Enterprises. www.gkiresort.com.au