In October 2017, the Queensland Government announced a global tourism hub (GTH) for tropical North Queensland, bringing a dynamic new tourism opportunity to the region. The Tropical North GTH is intended to:

  • support Queensland's tourism industry
  • provide new employment opportunities
  • deliver new public realm
  • connect Queensland with new and emerging tourism markets
  • support Cairns' economy
  • provide new lifestyle and entertainment offerings.

The Queensland Government has identified a preferred site for the Tropical North GTH in consultation with Far North Queensland Ports Corporation Limited (Ports North). The site has been identified because it presents:

  • a unique opportunity to unlock an underutilised area of the Cairns Central Business District (CBD)
  • good connectivity to employment catchments
  • potential to provide a 'gateway to North Queensland' for cruise ships
  • ready access to significant port and airport infrastructure.

The Coordinator-General is investigating a potential state development area (SDA) to support the Tropical North GTH in recognition of the project's potential to bring significant economic and tourism related benefits to North Queensland, as well as create new employment opportunities for residents in the Cairns region.

A broad SDA investigation area has been identified to enable the Coordinator-General to consider how key sites and transport routes may integrate with the Tropical North GTH.

The Department of Innovation, Tourism Industry Development and the Commonwealth Games (DITID) is managing the Tropical North GTH procurement process, including setting the strategic direction, attracting and selecting a proponent, and managing the delivery of the Tropical North GTH.

Should the Coordinator-General's investigations conclude an SDA is suitable, and a declaration occurs, the Coordinator-General will continue to work closely with DITID to deliver the Tropical North GTH.

Community and stakeholder feedback is being sought to help the Coordinator-General decide whether an SDA should be established and the boundary for a potential SDA. Have your say here.

If the Coordinator-General's investigations conclude an SDA is suitable, the Coordinator-General may seek declaration of the SDA. If the SDA is declared, the Coordinator-General will be responsible for the preparation of the development scheme.

Further information

For further information on the investigation, contact the SDA Division on 1800 001 048 or via This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Find out more about global tourism hubs on the DITID website.