At last year’s Developing Northern Australia Conference, we discussed how regional tourism developments are exposed to financial and strategic risk through capital and operating cost escalation together with the social and environmental harm resulting from the prevailing design & construct (D&C) procurement model.

This risk was quantified for the case study projects using the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) protocol that monetised not only financial risk but also strategic risk via detailing the cost of associated social problems such as “sick” buildings and road fatalities together with environmental problems including water table pollution and petrochemical smog.

QUT IFE’s Adjunct Associate Professor Dr Neil Thompson and renowned resort master planner Mr Paul Ma at recent Akaigawa Tomo “SymbioResort” site meeting in Hokkaido Japan

Examples were also presented on how the dominant D&C model has exacerbated the adverse and antagonistic relationships that plague all participants in the construction industry supply chain today resulting in increasing contractor bankruptcies whilst at the same time exposing the developers, host communities and end-users of regional tourism facilities and associated infrastructure to increasing levels of economic, social and environmental risk.

The Queensland University of Technology (QUT) partnership with major industry associations, technology manufacturers, consulting engineers and government has now expanded via further deployment of the new place based design protocol to reduce not only financial risk but also strategic risk in terms of social and environmental outcomes from the construction and refurbishment of regional tourism facilities and associated infrastructure. The local and international “SymbioResort” regional tourism projects that were developed in conjunction with the renowned resort master planner Mr Paul Ma have now progressed to operational stage with encouraging results.

The Akaigawa Tomo Resort in Japan opened the Stage 1 “Playpark” in late 2017 and is now attracting hundreds of tourists from Sapporo via the nature based recreational activities as envisioned in the original “SymbioResort” master plan. Stage 2 of the resort is currently in detail design and construction phase for opening in time for the 2020 Olympics using an integrated renewable hydrogen power system from ITM Power and associated fuel cell electric transfer buses and cars from Toyota.

The local Broadwater Hotel project in Geraldton has also completed the Stage 1 refurbishment as detailed in the master plan with a pleasing increase in revenue and associated social benefits with Stage 2 installation of solar power and geothermal air conditioning currently at detail design stage for further environmental benefit.

Mr Ma is now working with QUT on concept designs for the refurbishment of other local resorts on the Great Barrier Reef in accordance with the “SymbioResort” protocol.

This update was kindly provided by Neil Thompson, who submitted the abstract ‘Reducing risk in regional tourism developments through a new place-based design protocol’ for the 2017 Developing Northern Australia Conference. 

The 2018 Developing Northern Australia Conference will be held at Alice Springs Convention Centre on Monday 18 and Tuesday 19 June 2018. 

Register to secure your spot here!