Andrew ‘Twiggy’ Forrest’s investment company has turned its sights to tourism, especially Western Australian tourism, by laying out plans for an eco-resort near Ningaloo Reef that accommodates caravans.
The Tourism News is happy to report that the establishment of the site as a true destination for grey nomads – by specifically being caravan-friendly – is just the sort of attraction that needs to be established in far-flung locations. Whilst it’s lovely to think that caravanning is ‘all about the journey’, attractions are the salt of the tourism earth.
Picture – The resort that will accommodate up to 550 guests.
The Tourism News, 28th Sep 2020
Mining magnate Andrew Forrest’s investment vehicle Tattarang has unveiled plans to transform a well-known caravan park 13 kilometres north of Exmouth into a renewable-powered, plastic-free eco resort.
If it gets development approval the $85 million redevelopment of the holiday park near the Ningaloo Lighthouse on Vlamingh Head will be one of the biggest tourism projects ever undertaken in the region.
According to Tattarang’s plans, the site will accommodate fewer people than it is licensed for with 550 guests staying on caravan sites or in eco tents, villas and hotel rooms. It will also feature restaurants, bars, pools, a spa, tennis courts, playgrounds and a shop.
To beef up the project’s green credentials Tattarang said it would be powered by renewables, have no single-use plastics on-site, use wastewater recycling and a bio-digester for organic waste to divert 60 tonnes of food waste from landfill every year and generate 10 tonnes of fertiliser.
“This is an investment in world-class, sustainable tourism in the North West which will benefit the local community and the state,” Tattarang chief investment officer John Hartman said.
“The redevelopment will make a significant contribution to the local economy by boosting tourism opportunities and creating construction, tourism and hospitality jobs for the area.
“Watching the sunset at the Exmouth Lighthouse is one of Western Australia’s iconic tourism experiences that we hope to improve for locals and visitors while safeguarding the site.”
Tattarang said the project would create more than 120 jobs during construction and contribute $18 million to the economy and once operational it would bring more than $30 million of income to the town every year.
Tourism Council WA chief executive Evan Hall welcomed the plans and said it had been years since a world-class resort had been built in regional WA.
“Western Australia has long lagged behind other destinations in creating new, sustainable resorts in regional areas, providing authentic experiences for Western Australians and out-of-state visitors,” he said.
“This innovative project will fill the gap for world-class accommodation and resort-style facilities which are expected by many guests.
“The diverse offering at the resort will accommodate the needs and budgets of all visitors, improving the guest experience for everyone.”
The Exmouth announcement came on the same day the Morrison Government announced it would inject $250 million into regional Australian tourism.
About $50 million will be used to help businesses impacted by the decimation of international tourism and $200 million will be spent on an additional round of the building better regions fund.