Chinese diving resort milestone for Port Douglas
THE Pelican Motel on Davidson St is part way through a radical change which will see it become a focused Chinese visitor destination – probably the first in Port Douglas to dedicate itself to the expected wave of Chinese tourism heading to Far North Queensland.
Melbourne businessman James Liu is one of the owners of the old motel which changed hands last October.
Mr Liu told the the new owners, all scuba diving fans, were renovating the motel as the first step in a plan, over several stages, to turn the motel into the Uyoung Diving Resort.
While it will cater to all tourism demographics, its special target will be Chinese independent travellers and small groups, particularly those with an interest in scuba diving.
“We want to do more to bring Chinese visitors up to Port Douglas from Cairns,” Mr Liu said.
His company wants groups of Chinese, perhaps couples or groups of 6-8, to be the clientele among the Chinese, not large tour groups of 40.
He believes there is a growing segment of Chinese tourists who are independent travellers and who want the type of travel experience on offer in Port Douglas.
Mr Liu said the management company, Double Joy, had advertised for a hotel manager with strong English language skills, with Mandarin also as a highly regarded skill.
Further down the road they will be looking for a dive master also with multingual skills.
The new resort will have a 2.5m deep pool for dive instruction. A diving school with PADI certification is planned for the second stage of the project.
The last stage is a Chinese restaurant in house, featuring what the owners believe will be the first offering of traditional Chinese hot pot on a menu in Port Douglas, or Cairns for that matter.
“The motel is for everybody,” Mr Liu stresses, “there will be plenty of choices such as the activities on offer or the different types of cuisine.”
Mr Liu said the resort would also organise tour packages for its visitors, as part of its service.
Pelican Motel in Port Douglas is undergoing renovation
James Liu, part owner