Thursday, 12 February 1998

Proposed Sale of Dreamworld theme park

Dreamworld's Chief Executive Officer, Mr Fred Maybury, today announced the proposed sale of the Gold Coast theme park and Hobarts Antarctic, science and info-tainment centre, Antarctic Adventure, to the Macquarie Bank's Property Investment Banking Division.

The sale agreement, which is subject to the successful listing of a leisure trust by the Macquarie Bank, was today signed by Dreamworld and the Macquarie Bank.

Dreamworld was purchased by Mr. P.L Kua's Singaporean based company, Euro Asia Realty, in 1996 for $84 million.

Over the past two years Mr Kua has invested substantially in Australian tourism. In addition to the purchase of Dreamworld, and a subsequent substantial upgrade of the theme park and the opening of Antarctic Adventure in Hobart, sister company Euro Asia Leisure Management purchased hotel assets. The Rex Hotel (Sydney), the Heritage Hotel (Melbourne) and the Legends Hotel (Gold Coast).

Mr Kua has also received approval from the Gold Coast City Council for a 400 room resort style hotel adjacent to Dreamworld.

27.11% increase in attendances for Dreamworld over Easter holiday period

Following total visitor increases of 7.85% for the 1997 year, Dreamworld has lifted growth figures with a 27.11% increase in attendances, over the ten day Easter Holiday promotional period. This is in comparison to the same ten day period in 1997.

Acknowledging the softening of the Asian sector, Dreamworld re-focused marketing strategies toward the Park’s core market, the domestic sector, throughout 1997. With the Asian sector slowing over the ten day period, Dreamworld’s lift in attendances is attributed to the Intra, Inter-state and non Asian markets.

The New Zealand market remained strong, a result of co-operative television campaigns undertaken in New Zealand with the QTTC last year, while all other international markets also experienced growth results.

Commenting on the positive indicators that have emanated from the lift in attendances experienced over the Easter holiday period, Chief Executive Officer Fred Maybury said "While the tourism market in general indicated a softening twelve months ago, Dreamworld identified that the core market to be nurtured and protected, was the domestic sector. Having identified that, Dreamworld responded to those market indicators, protecting our core market. It is pleasing to now see this translate into growth."

"The domestic sector is critical not only to Dreamworld and Gold Coast Tourism, but to Queensland, and while the increase Dreamworld has experienced over this period is positive, it does not mean the tourism crisis has passed," said Mr. Maybury.

"It merely reinforces the need to protect the existing domestic market and the need to respond to any emerging trends, domestic or international. This I believe will be achieved through individual as well as co-operative marketing efforts, such as those currently being activated with the Gold Coast Tourism Bureau, Brisbane Tourism and the Queensland Travel and Tourism Corporation.".