Resort on Lindeman Island to close
THE Club Med resort on Lindeman Island will close at the end of January - until a suitable investor is found to buy the property.
Paul Nyholt and Wayne Bunz of CBRE Hotels QLD have been appointed to sell the resort and are having discussions with potential purchasers prior to a public marketing campaign expected early in the New Year.
Club Med's international staff will be relocated to other resorts around the world as per the normal Club Med six monthly rotational operations.
However, about 20 local staff will be affected.
Tourism Minister Jan Jarratt said her immediate concerns were for the staff and that she had asked the office of the Minister for Employment, Skills and Mining to consider deploying the rapid response team to help impacted workers find new jobs in the region. "This is a blow, but it won't destroy the confidence of the Whitsunday tourism industry," she said.
Ms Jarratt said Hayman Island had just completed a multi-million dollar refurbishment and looked better than ever.
She said Hamilton Island was trading strongly and Daydream was also on the rebound.
"Times have been tough, but we are here to stay," she said.
General manager of Club Med for Australia and New Zealand Quentin Briard said the decision to close the resort was an extremely difficult one as it was a firm favourite with Australian and New Zealand guests.
"But our on-going research shows that more and more, our guests want our new premium all-inclusive product, and Lindeman's three trident status (the only one in Asia Pacific) was not in that category," he said.
Mr Briard said Club Med would continue to actively search for a new Australian resort location that would mirror their new global standards. No forward bookings have been taken by Club Med after the proposed closure date of January 31 next year. Club Med has operated the resort on Lindeman Island since 1992.