Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk officially opened the InterContinental Hayman Island Resort last Friday, a month after the property began welcoming back guests after a soft launch.
“For the past 70 years Hayman Island has been an iconic island paradise visited by so many,” the Premier said.
“As heartbreaking as it was seeing the destruction caused by Cyclone Debbie in 2017, what’s been achieved here in the last two years is incredible. With dedication and hard work, the Mulpha Group and some 440 workers have transformed the cyclone-damaged resort into a world-class destination once again.
“The number of guests already flocking here, and the strong forward bookings is once again a testament to what we achieve by investing in tourism on the Great Barrier Reef,” Palaszczuk said.
“The new resort is expected to pump $120 million into the Whitsundays economy every year, supporting tourism jobs in the region.”
The Palaszczuk Government partnered with the owners through the Great Barrier Reef Island Resorts Rejuvenation Fund to implement energy efficiency systems and improve the resort’s waste management and resilience helping to future-proof the resort.
“We’re investing in the tourism industry to create jobs for Queenslanders,” the Premier said.
“That’s why we’ve committed $25 million to building new tourism infrastructure on the islands to help get these businesses up and running again.”
Queensland Tourism Industry Development Minister Kate Jones said the resort now employs around 330 full-time staff.
“We know that new infrastructure and attractions lure more tourists to Queensland which supports tourism jobs,” she said.
“We’re partnering with the private sector to grow the tourism industry in the Whitsundays.
“Local operators struggled following Cyclone Debbie. But projects like this will help bring even more tourists back to the region, supporting local jobs.”
Under the Great Barrier Reef Island Resorts Rejuvenation Fund, Hayman Island has implemented a cutting-edge in-room automation system that regulates individual room temperatures to reduce energy consumption and carbon emissions while improving the experience for guests.
In addition, an integrated building management system will further reduce energy consumption by integrating systems and actively identifying inefficiencies, resulting in the reduction of approximately 300 tonnes of CO2 per annum.
Mulpha CEO Greg Shaw said new waste reduction and recycling equipment which is expected to remove 100,000 kilograms per annum of waste to landfill.
“Our $135 million investment into Hayman has set a new standard for luxury resort travel in Australia,” he said.
“Our intent is to not only provide a world-class guest experience but also to drive sustainability and improve resilience for the resort, evident through the installation of state-of-the-art in-room automation and building management systems which will greatly improve the energy efficiency of the resort.”
IHG Managing Director Australasia and Japan, Leanne Harwood said the company was committed to investing in Queensland.
“IHG is incredibly invested in supporting the growth and revitalisation of world-class destinations such as the Great Barrier Reef.
“The investment, both financially and through the tireless efforts of our colleagues and entire tourism community, has allowed us to set a new benchmark for luxury travel in the region under the trusted InterContinental brand.”