The Great Barrier Reef Will Get An Underwater Hotel In 2020

The Great Barrier Reef is called ‘great’ for a reason. It can be seen from space, stretching for over 2,575 km, and covering an impressive 344,000 square km. Yet this iconic beauty is also highly vulnerable. In the past three decades, the Great Barrier Reef has lost half of its coral cover, and global warming and pollution combined have produced horrific coral bleaching.

An Observatory And A Floating Underwater Hotel 

However, there seems to be a little spark of hope for the future of one of the world's seven natural wonders. A couple of weeks ago, the Tourism Industry Development minister announced that a new three-level pontoon on Lady Musgrave Island is set to pave the way for a Great Barrier Reef observatory and underwater hotel for up to 24 people – all to be opened in April next year. It's expected to draw an additional 16,000 visitors to the region every year and drive more than $1.8 million in visitor expenditure – and that is great news indeed, as the Great Barrier Reef depends largely on tourism revenue to fund preservation and protection. The government will contribute $1 million to the project.

“This pontoon is a game-changer for Lady Musgrave and the Great Barrier Reef, and will create a whole new way for visitors to experience the island and the region,” Tourism Industry Development Minister Kate Jones said.

Running On Solar Power And Built From Milk Bottles

But won’t this massive new development be harmful to the already fragile ecosystem? The vessel will reportedly be very sustainable – running entirely on solar power and partially made from recycled materials (i.e. milk bottles).

One thing is guaranteed: the most breathtaking, 360-degree views of the coral reef. The pontoon will also host an underwater observatory fitted with UV lighting so that people can experience the Great Barrier Reef at night. The upper decks will be reserved for other fun activities including diving, snorkelling and also for environmental data collection.

So, would you want to try out this aquarium accommodation? 

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