Deep Ocean Technologies - a European firm - has proposed building a hotel on the Great Barrier Reef in a bid to further boost Australia’s tourism and to increase the number of people visiting the reef.
The recent announcement was made at a marine conference in Sydney and Deep Ocean Technologies unveiled its plans to build a hotel that would be secured by five legs built into the ocean’s seabed.
The hotel would also have two giant discs that would house 21 luxury hotel rooms underwater, as well as a bar and lobby being located in pods that will be above the water.
Quality Australian tours often feature a visit to the world-famous Great Barrier Reef, which is regarded as one of the must-see natural sites in the world.
The plans have been greeted with a mixed response with the mayor of Cairns, Bob Manning, saying that the hotel will not be built for “hundreds of years” due to the huge environmental risk that comes with building it.
He added, “I don't think anybody in their right mind would do anything that might prejudice the integrity of the Great Barrier Reef, which is Australia's greatest natural asset.”
People associated with the plans have argued that the hotel will be built off-site and then towed into place, therefore reducing the environmental impact on the Great Barrier Reef.
This would not be the first underwater hotel to be built, as Deep Ocean Technologies have already opened one in the Maldives in June last year and are also in talks about constructing a similar site in Dubai.
Alex de Waal, Tourism Tropical North Queensland chief executive, said he would be excited about the project so long as the reef was protected.
De Waal said, "If it's done sustainably...it would provide an extraordinary experience to visitors."
Image Credit: Paul Toogood (flickr.com)