How we’d accommodate Olympic visitors
A FLEET of cruise ships could be used to help accommodate tens of thousands of visitors for a future Olympic Games.
A report into the feasibility of staging the event forecast a need for 81,000 hotel rooms across the region. But there are only 44,500 currently available - 24,000 on the Gold Coast, 18,500 in Brisbane and 2000 on the Sunshine Coast.
New developments already planned such as The Star Entertainment Group's new Queen's Wharf and the expansion of its Gold Coast precinct will take the number up to just under 60,000.
The report said while filling the gap would be "a significant challenge'', it's one that can be met. It suggests addressing the shortfall in part by using cruise liners as floating hotels.
The new Brisbane cruise ship terminal, which is due to open next year, will be able to handle some of the biggest ships in the world.
Other options include scheduling university and school holidays to free up thousands of units in student accommodation.
And a purpose-built media village could host tens of thousands of broadcasters and journalists.
In addition to a main athletes' village in Brisbane, satellite villages would also be constructed on both the Gold and Sunshine Coasts to accommodate sportspeople competing in events in those areas.
Property Council Queensland executive director Chris Mountford said major development zones with long planned construction time frames, such as Hamilton Northshore, could be used to provide athlete or media accommodation and be reconfigured to apartment blocks following the Olympics.
"That's potentially an attractive option and should be investigated," Mr Mountford said.
Brisbane City Council has previously waived infrastructure fees and charges to stimulate development of four and five-star hotels in the city, resulting in a host of new projects including the W and Westin hotels.
Mr Mountford said similar incentives could help encourage another wave of hotel construction.
"But there needs to be a clear demand beyond an Olympics to give investors confidence."
He said the Commonwealth Games had proven major events could create a stimulatory effect on the local economy, with a seven-year upward trajectory from the time the Gold Coast bid to host it.
And a southeast Queensland Olympics could be a great opportunity to create new vibrant precincts.
"London used the 2012 games as a catalyst to revitalise a huge area," Mr Mountford said.
He said the Property Council was supportive of moving to the next stage of a possible bid process, but it was critical to keep the focus on using it as the means to deliver the infrastructure the region needs.
"The Council of Mayors has been clear and consistent in that.
"The risk would be that we deviated from that path and got caught up in the event itself."