A proposed underwater art museum could be a huge turning point for the reef tourism and the marine tourism industry of the Queensland region.
The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Underwater Art Museum has been proposed to be located off the coast of Townsville. Jason deCaires Taylor, an acclaimed international artist, will visit the site and stay there from July 6 to 15. He will appraise the possibility for the art museum including underwater art sites at Townsville’s outer reefs and at Palm Island, and the installations of art pieces for sites along the Magnetic Island and The Strand.
Paul Victory, the regional general manager of SeaLink Travel Group, said that if the site seems feasible for building an art museum, it would help establishing a local marine tourism industry. According to him, it would be something unique because it would feature both the arts and the local indigenous heritage.
Photo Credit: Smithsonian Mag
Mr Victory also thought that it would bring economic prosperity for the region’s dive operators as they could offer the travellers completely unique experiences, unlike the activities available in the Whitsundays and Cairns.
Mr Taylor was the artist of the first underwater art museum in the world, which is ranked as one of the Top 25 Wonders of the World by National Geographic. Established in 2006, it is located off the coast of Grenada. He was also behind Mexico’s the Museo Subacuático de Arte. He created it in 2009 off the coast of Cancun. Both the museums draw a great number of visitors each year.
Photo Credit: Townsville Bulletin
Mr Victory thought that the popularity of Mr Taylor’s existing art sites indicates that the new art museum is likely to bring hundreds of thousands of divers to the region. Patricia O’Callaghan, the CEO of Townsville Enterprise, also though the same and said that it would open an opportunity for Townsville to draw more visitors and bring a globally recognised experience on the Reef.
The Townsville City Council, Townsville Enterprise, SeaLink Queensland, James Cook University, Palm Island Shire Council, and Reef Ecologic are currently leading the project.