Gold Coast underwater hotel dream revealed
31 May 2016 Ryan Keen
The world’s first “affordable” underwater hotel could be established on the Gold Coast.
Marine expert Andrew Tindale is fishing for an accommodation or resort operator to partner him in developing a Gold Coast prototype for his “Sleeping with the Sharks” venture.
The 45-year-old founder of the Australian Shark and Ray Centre operating out of Port Stephens near Sydney said the vision was for a small aquarium to be built with an underwater glass-wall hotel room in its midst.
The Oxenford resident said he would provide prototype technology but wanted an accommodation or resort operator to run the hotel.
It did not need to be in the ocean and could be land based but required about 500sq m of space.
The aquarium would contain 300kg Black Rays and up to 3m-long Tawny Nurse Sharks.
Mr Tindale’s vision is to create underwater cabins for less than the cost of a three-star motel room to ensure it is an affordable experience for as many people as possible.
He wouldn’t reveal what it would cost to develop the hotel but said he hoped to offer the experience to guests for about $300 a night.
Similar hotels overseas charge more than $1000 while Dubai’s Atlantis the Palm underwater hotel charges more than $5000 and Africa’s Manta Resort in Zanzibar more than $1500. The Hotel Conrad Maldives Rangali offers underwater dining from $300.
Mr Tindale said he had spent the past decade trying to educate people about the beauty of rays and sharks through interaction at his Port Stephens centre, which he sold 18 months ago.
“There is no better education than interaction and having people really see these animals for what they are — which is worthy of our protection from total destruction,” he said.
“This is partly to be a tourism activity in the Gold Coast region, but also an exportable product — we are looking to make them in Australia and export them around the world.
“I really see this fitting in with existing resorts, attractions, zoos and even nurseries and education centres.”
Mr Tindale has started a crowd-funding page to raise $35,000 to go towards turning his dream into a reality.
Gold Coast Tourism chief executive officer Martin Winter said: “The Gold Coast is big enough and bold enough to pioneer any tourism attraction and although this sounds like a long shot, greater things have been achieved.”
May 16, 2016