The tourism minister of Queensland, Australia, is looking for ideas to inject new life into the Gold Coast tourist region. Including casino development.
Speaking at the national Tourism Futures conference last month, Tourism Queensland CEO Anthony Hayes bucked the current trend of bemoaning the poor economy and declared it time for creative thinking and big dreams, according to the Gold Coast Bulletin. The solutions to problems such as funding, said Hayes, would come later.
?Allow us to dream a few dreams and come up with stuff we need,? said Hayes. ?Come up with the good ideas first and then come up with how to do it later.?
Queensland is in the beginning stages of a 10-year project to improve its overall tourism product. The government has allocated A$48 million to the Queensland Tourism Strategy plan, which seeks an integrated approach involving government and private industry.
Among the ideas highlighted by Hayes was an increase in the Gold Coast?s casino offering.
?I?ve never understood why the Gold Coast does not have three or four casinos,? said Hayes. ?It?s more than just gambling, it?s about entertainment and restaurants. Just look at Las Vegas and what the Crown Casino has done to Melbourne.?
The only casino now in operation on the Gold Coast is Conrad Jupiters, with 60 tables, 1,300 slots and a 600-room hotel.
The Bulletin reported Hayes as saying it was time to bring back the ?fun? to tourism after years of putting up with the ?men in drab suits,? who he said were obsessed with marketing and analysis when instead they should be looking at ?building stuff.?