A resort on one of Queensland’s largest tropical islands has hit the market ahead of what tourism authorities are predicting could be a bumper year as more Australians choose to holiday at home.
- The decision to sell follows a string of islands in the state being snapped up by Aussie investors
- It’s the third time the property has been on the market in less than a decade
- Tourism authorities say domestic visitors are driving demand in the tropical region
Fitzroy Island Resort is a 45-minute boat ride from Cairns in Far North Queensland and covers more than four hectares on the 339-hectare island, the majority of which is national park.
Real estate agency Colliers has listed the “unspoilt tropical paradise” for sale through an expressions of interest campaign on behalf of the Australian-based Gamble family, with expectations it could fetch more than $35 million.
It is the third time that property developer Doug Gamble has put the resort, which is run by his family, on the market in less than a decade.
He bought the property in 2010 from receivers and has spent millions upgrading the resort, which has more than 100 rooms.
Australians investors have been snapping up Queensland islands in recent times, including Lindeman Island in the Whitsundays last year.
Over the past 18 months Hook, Dunk and Lizard islands were also sold.
Tourism industry on the mend
It’s been a turbulent three years for the tourism industry in Far North Queensland in light of international border closures due to COVID-19.
But the situation is easing, with National Visitor Survey figures showing Australian holidaymakers are spending more and staying longer in the region.
Domestic travellers spent $3 billion in the year ending in March 2022, up 18.8 per cent on 2019.
Former Tourism Australia boss John O’Sullivan, who now runs Experience Co which offers experiences in Far North Queensland, said he had confidence the region would make a full recovery.
He said Australians in particular were keen to get out and explore despite the soaring cost of living.
“The last thing that people cut from their household budget is a holiday, it’s sacrosanct to Aussies — we are a race that likes holidaying, whether it’s here or overseas,” Mr O’Sullivan said.
“There will be a tightening of the belt inevitably, but you’ll find that part of the market that would normally go overseas to Bali and Fiji, they’ll put it off until next year but we still want to go on holidays.
“The accommodation providers in the Far North are saying forward bookings are very strong.”
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