The sale of a beleaguered Great Barrier Reef island resort to an Asian buyer is being touted as a coup for Australian tourism — but the deal is far from done and dusted.
Its owner, Tower Holdings, closed the hotel a decade ago and had been trying to raise $600m for a massive redevelopment, including 1,000 luxury units, a 250-berth marina, a golf course and an airstrip.
Tower Holdings has now announced it is handing over the proposal to Singapore-Taiwanese company Wei Chao.
Tower Holdings CEO Anthony Aiossa said he believed his company’s vision for the island would be realised with Wei Cheo taking on the project.
“We believe that we’ve taken it to a critical point, we’ve secured the largest development approval within the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area,” Mr Aiossa said.
“It’s extremely obvious that they share the passion for the project and they’ve got the financial means and desire to take the project to the next level.”
Sales agent Tom Gibson said it was the fifth sale of a Great Barrier Reef island in just two years.
“It is an exceptional news story for not just the Queensland tourism industry, but the whole of tourism in Australia,” he said.
But a formal sale still needs to happen, with that not forecast until 2019.
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