The global recession, coupled with Australia's struggling tourism industry, has seen the price of Australia's tropical islands cut by up to 50 per cent.
Among the properties going cheap is Dunk Island, one of six islands being sold in the region by GTP Group Photo: GETTY
More than 30 island resorts that dot the coast of Queensland are up for sale and several have been on the market for more than six months as they struggle to find buyers.
Despite the bargain pricers, potential buyers are staying away because while they may be beautiful, the islands are expensive to run, difficult to staff and their premium hotel rooms, some priced at AU$2000 (£965) a night, are proving increasingly hard to fill.
Among the properties going cheap is Dunk Island, one of six islands being sold in the region by GPT Group. It last changed hands for $51.8m (£25m), but is now expected to fetch just $25m, The Australian reports.
Likewise, the "luxurious and spacious" Turtle Island, which Julia Roberts once expressed an interest in buying eight years ago, is now subject to "any reasonable offer", a far cry from its original price tag of $6.5 million.
The low prices take into account the tourism drought that is affecting much of Australia, and especially Queensland.
As well as falling visitor numbers, the state has also had to contend with floods, cyclones and large, ugly oil slick in recent months. The tourism industry's response of offering heavily discounted holiday packages – some cut by 30 per cent – has so far failed to lure the crowds back.
The Hunt Resort on Fitzroy Island, which recently underwent a $100m revamp, is the latest Queensland destination to fall victim to the tourism slump.
The resort, located 22 miles southeast of Cairns, went into receivership this week.
Its owners had intended to take the island, once a favourite destination for backpackers and budget travellers, upmarket.
The Tourism and Transport Forum, an industry lobby group, has warned that up to 29,000 jobs could be lost in the tourism sector due to the recession. It predicted that more remote areas, such as northern Queensland and central Australia, would be worst hit.
Australia's tropical islands for sale at half price as financial hits - Telegraph