Lake Tekapo is seen in China as one of the most important places in the world to visit, according to the owner of a major hotel development planned for the town.
"Tekapo is not only unique but it is well known by many, many people in the world. In many websites in China it is deemed to be one of the most important places in the world to visit," Anthony Tosswill said.
While he wouldn't reveal the cost of his new Tekapo development when contacted by the Herald yesterday, he said it was "an expensive project".
He has bought some surplus council-owned land, between State Highway 8 and Lakeside Drive, where he plans to build a four to five-star resort with at least 110 units.
He said the resort would be developed in two stages and would include about 300 beds, a conference centre, restaurant, gym, sauna, lap pool, shop, hire centre and other facilities.
He said subject to gaining resource consent and issuing of the title he hoped to start construction next March.
Originally from Wanganui, Tosswill, 62, left New Zealand in 1969. He lives in Malaysia where he owns an established resort. He will relocate to Lake Tekapo in October.
Tosswill has invested in a number of overseas businesses and worked in Australia, the Philippines and Malaysia. "I have been involved with many different and weird things."
He said those businesses included starting fresh chicken shops in Australia and running a cleaning contracting business.
He said he first first fell in love with Lake Tekapo seven years ago.
"It's such a picturesque place with world-class scenery . . . I don't think many people living here are aware of how beautiful and unique it is.
"I aim to retire there and reside there permanently, and would be glad to obtain input into the development from both the community and the community board.
"I also intend to provide further services that will allow Tekapo to be a destination rather than a place tourists pass through. Tekapo is unique and has a lot to offer."
- The Timaru Herald