The Queensland tourism industry is looking to cash in on a growing interest from Chinese investors.
Mary Carroll, CEO of the Capricorn Enterprise group, said interest from China could outshine the 1980s boom of Japanese investors looking to buy into the state.
“We saw a bit of a boom in the 1980s in destinations like this with international investment,” she told ABC News.
“This is the second wave of that and it will be a bigger wave.
“China alone has got 300 million people who are soon to be middle class. When people earn more they spend more on consumables, including leisure holidays.”
Queensland recorded more than half a million visitors from China last year, with tourists now able to fly direct from China to Brisbane, Cairns and the Gold Coast.
Struggling resorts in central Queensland are looking to attract Chinese investment like that of Shanghai businessman Ding Zuo Hong, who recently bought a resort and housing development at Zilzie near Rockhampton which had been closed for two years.Mr Ding is planning a major expansion with accommodation to target Chinese visitors and locals.
“We are looking forward to developing the resort into an integrated tourism, residential and golf resort,” he told the ABC.
“We want to establish a club for the entrepreneurs from China to attract them to travel here, stay here and live here.
“We just feel like home. The beautiful sunshine and coast attracted us so much, very beautiful scenery.
“Also the governments have very good policies to support international investments.”
Ms Carroll said Queensland could learn lessons from the Japanese boom period.
“The significant difference between Japanese investment and Chinese investment is a long-term commitment to put profits back into the businesses to ensure the integrity of the product,” she said.
“The tourism industry requires new product constantly, and when these massive resorts were built in the 80s, significant investment was required to be put back into those resorts to keep them at a level and a standard that visitors expected.”