From mega ships to cashing chips; accom news this week

Work has begun on a $158 million mega cruise ship terminal  touted to create a $5 billion economic boom for Queensland over the next 15 years.

The Port of Brisbane facility will cater to cruise vessels of all sizes, including the largest ocean-going ships in the world.

The Australian cruise sector is booming but industry chiefs have long argued a chronic shortage of port space is limiting capacity.

The Cruise Lines Industry Association (CLIA) has identified several cruise companies wanting to home-port in Australia that can’t find anywhere to dock.

State Development Minister Cameron Dick says the new terminal will help put Brisbane on the world map as a mega cruise ship destination.

“This new terminal will help secure our slice of the market by providing a dedicated facility to accommodate larger ships that are unable to dock at Portside,” he said.

“The terminal will also create supply chain opportunities for local businesses, traders and tourism operators.

“Queensland’s first dedicated mega cruise ship terminal will be a fitting gateway for arriving visitors as they step on to Queensland soil and for those who can now depart in the mega cruise ships directly from Brisbane.”

Bookings for the first cruise season in 2020 are now open, with 180 keen ocean voyagers already on board.

In the Northern Territory, US hospitality giant Delaware North has taken a punt on SkyCity’s Darwin casino, agreeing a $188 million deal for the capital’s only five-star resort.

The Darwin property includes 600 poker machines, more than 30 table games, four restaurants, five bars, luxury accommodation including VIP ‘super villas’with gaming suites, a day spa and conference spaces.

The 650 staff at SkyCity Darwin will be retained, the company confirmed on Thursday.

“We’re proud of our contribution to Darwin and the Northern Territory over the past 14 years,” said SkyCity chief executive Graeme Stephens.

“Now feels like the right time to hand the baton across to a new owner to continue the next stage in Darwin casino’s journey.”

The property’s VIP facilities cater for mainly Asian high-roller visitors.

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