Peter Garrett Defers Decision to Ban Uluru Rock Climbing

Peter GarrettUluruTOURISM operators in Alice Springs have been delivered good news, after Federal Environment Minister Peter Garrett deferred a decision which would have banned people from climbing Uluru, which used to be called Ayers Rock.

It’s claimed the speculated 100,000 climbers per month were littering and defecating on the rock, during the climb, which also risks eroding the 348-metre rock.

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Halikos Group Buys Darwin’s Novotel Atrium Hotel For $24 Million

DARWIN’s Novotel Atrium Hotel, at 100 The Esplanade on Darwin Harbour, has sold to private investors the Halikos Group for $24 million.

The 140-room, 4.5 star hotel was offloaded by Tourism Property Investment Group, and was sold with a 17-year management agreement to Accor, according to selling agents Colliers International.

Halikos Group managing director Shane Dignan said the purchase was “in line with a strategy to refresh the group’s property portfolio and seek prudent investments in the Northern Territory.”

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Occupancy Levels Dip Across Most Australian States: ABS

NATURAL disasters in key markets, a strong $A encouraging Australians to travel overseas, and prospective visitors seeking cheaper destinations, have contributed to a slowdown in the country’s tourist accommodation sector.

According to new research issued by the Australian Bureau of Statistics, occupancy in the hotel, motel and serviced apartment sector has dropped in many states, with the lowest rate (51.8 per cent) reported in the Northern Territory.

Tasmania performed best with an occupancy rate of 72.5 per cent in the March quarter. It was followed by the ACT (70.4 per cent) and NSW (67.8 per cent).

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Big Pineapple Site Relisted For Sale

PLANS have fallen through to sell the Big Pineapple site on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast.

The 170 hectare site has been relisted for sale on behalf of receivers PPB. It’s being marketed by Ray White Special Projects.

It had been reported the site would be redeveloped into a car museum – but the advocates of this plan failed to complete a contract, according to the AFR which reported the relisting.

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Surge For Australian Hotel Investments in 2010

INVESTOR demand for Australian hotels surged last year.

Hotel transactions surged 62.3 per cent last year, totalling $1.3 billion, according to JLL Hotels.

Demand for hotel investments was boosted by a strong business travel market which have pushed up room rates and occupancy levels in major capital city markets.

The Ayers Rock Resort was last year’s biggest hotel transaction, selling for $300 million.

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Yarra Glen Farm on Green Wedge Zoned Land Set to Become Chocolaterie Tourist Attraction

A YARRA Glen farm on  land zoned Green Wedge will be converted into “the number one rural tourism attraction in Australia” after the Yarra Ranges Shire Council unanimously approved a $31 million chocolate centre at a prominent corner site.

The major development will be developed on a 15.5 hectare farm on the north-east corner of Old Healesville Road and Melba Highway, about 2.7 kilometres east of the Yarra Glen township and near the Alowyn Gardens.

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Budget Holiday Makers Drive Demand for Caravan Park Accommodation

BUDGET holiday makers are driving a surge in occupancy for humble caravan park accommodation – and many are staying for longer than they have in the past.

A change in the facilities offered by some caravan parks – including pools, playgrounds and tennis courts – has also contributed to the newfound buoyancy.

But so too has a lack of supply – caused by some caravan parks selling to developers, who exploit their often spectacular locations with apartments and commercial facilities.

Australian Bureau of Statistics tourism data showed occupancy levels in Queensland’s caravan parks increased substantially in the year to September 2009, the most recent figures available.

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Dunk Island, Bedarra Island, Sold to Canadian Humanitarian Group

Dunk IslandQUEENSLAND’s Dunk Island, and the smaller Bedarra Island nearby, have been sold to humanitarian group McCall MacBain Foundation for an undisclosed sum.

The two islands were offloaded by Voyages, which has been trying to sell down its portfolio of tourist accommodation assets for about a year.

McCall MacBain Foundation affiliate Pamoja Capital has purchased the islands.

Pamoja – which means “togetherness” in Swahili, undertakes socially responsible global investments within a number of sectors including education, renewable energy and natural resources, life sciences, information technology, real estate and media and communications.

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Phillip Island’s Isle of Wight Pub Site Listed For Sale

SIXTEEN months after it was destroyed by fire – which was a month after it was permitted for demolition – the waterfront site where Phillip Island’s popular Isle of Wight hotel once stood is for sale.

The prominent and elevated property – which stares down the Cowes Jetty – measures 9197 square metres and runs behind many shops on the western side of Thompson Avenue, which is the sleepy hamlet’s main retail strip.

The Bass Coast council controversially approved the historic pub (pictured, above) be demolished in April 2010, despite it being recognised as one of South Gippsland’s most significant landmarks. The site is for sale with a permit for a nine-level resort and retail development with hotel rooms and apartments.

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Receivers For Ryan Hotel Group List Queensland Pubs For Sale

RECEIVER McGrath Nichol will sell two Queensland pubs, on behalf of the Ryan Hotel Group.

Up for grabs is the Del Plaza at Southport, and the Grinning Dog Tavern at Maroochydore. Earlier this year, six other Ryan Hotel Group hotels were put to the market including the Woombye, Maryborough and Roma. Ryan collapsed in July. The properties are distressed sales, and the prices are undisclosed.

Director of advisory firm and agency Power Jeffrey, Peter Power, told The Australian “there haven’t been many good quality hotels on the market for the past 18 months, and as valuers we are having great difficulty because we have no (sale result) evidence to work off”.

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