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  • Gavin King

    Tropic Now editor

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    Chinese New Year Festival set for exciting era of growth

    The proposed multi-million dollar resort development KUR-World has signed on as the new major sponsor for the rebranded Great Barrier Reef Chinese New Year Festival.

    The proposed $650 million dollar KUR-World resort development at Kuranda is the new major sponsor of the Cairns CBD's Chinese New Year Festival.

    The $100,000 three-year sponsorship deal will see the festival renamed the Great Barrier Reef Chinese New Year Festival in a bid to broaden its appeal with international tourists.

    Ken Lee, the Hong Kong-based businesman behind the KUR-World proposal, said he was “immensely proud" to be able to support the festival set to be launched on 20 January.

    KUR-World is currently working through the Environmental Impact Statement process while Mr Lee continues the global search for capital to fund and build the project on his sprawling 626 hectare property near Kuranda.

    He hopes to start construction in early 2018, with the ambitious development to include hotel accommodation, an 18-hole golf course, residential villas, retail shops, dining outlets, and a tertiary education campus, as well as a health and medical retreat.

    The Chinese New Year Festival sponsorship is KUR-World's first foray into funding local community events.

    "This three-year commitment will ensure that the festival can continue to grow and offer an even better experience for travellers, and just as importantly, residents of the region," Mr Lee said.

    "As Cairns now enters a new and exciting chapter of its colourful history, festivals such as this celebrate the diversity, and the willingness of all people to come together in celebration."

    Mr Lee said he had developed a deep appreciation of the region's rich Chinese history.

    "I was driving through the Tablelands on one of my many visits and made time to stop at the Atherton China Town, and read the history on the displays," Mr Lee said.

    "I never fully understood the depth of Chinese history in the region, and how this history is still recognised today.

    "Growing up and going to school in Sydney I always had an understanding of Chinese history in Sydney, but it has only been in recent years, throughout my many trips to this region, that I've been able to build a strong appreciation of this region's past, and share it with the regular investors I now host in the region."

    CADCAI vice-president and festival director Nathan Lee Long said the new sponsorship would help the event grow into something special for the region.

    "We are extremely thrilled that KUR-World has joined as naming rights partner of Chinese New Year for the next three years," he said.

    "This partnership with Mr Ken Lee and Harry Sou, valued and ongoing friend of Chinese New Year, comes at a time when the KU-World Great Barrier Reef Chinese New Year is entering an incredibly exciting period as we continue to grow into a region wide celebration for all of the Tropical North."