Monarto Zoo to kick off Africa expansion project with development of AU$16.8m visitor centre
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Monarto Zoo to kick off Africa expansion project with development of AU$16.8m visitor centre

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Adelaide’s Monarto Zoo is to get a new AU$16.8m (US$12.1m, €10.7m, £9.2m) visitor centre, providing visitors with a "world-class" entrance to the visitor attraction.

The project is the first phase of the Monarto Zoo Wild Africa expansion project, which will allow visitors to stay at Monarto Zoo for the first time in a range of accommodation facilities, including a safari resort and eco-luxe glamping tents.

The new building will include a café, nature play space, a gift shop and potentially a restaurant or a functions and events area.

Zoos SA, the zoo’s operator, received AU$15.8m (US$12.1m, €10.7m, £9.2m) in funding from the Australian and South Australian governments, rubber stamping its construction.

The South Australian government has also extended the zoo’s lease to keep its two giant pandas for another five years as part of the deal.

"Monarto Zoo has become an increasingly popular tourist attraction and has well outgrown the existing visitor centre facilities," said Zoos SA CEO Elaine Bensted.

"The current visitor facilities at Monarto Zoo were built in 1997 and are struggling to cope with the rapid growth in visitation we’ve experienced in the past five years.

"It’s also very exciting to know that giant pandas will call Adelaide Zoo home for another five years thanks to the support of the South Australian Government.

"Since they arrived in 2009, they have been consistently popular drawcards to South Australia, with many visitors travelling from all over the country and even the world to see Australasia’s only Giant Pandas.

"We know from economic analysis that the pandas contributed between AU$16.1m (US$11.5m, €10.3m, £8.8m) and AU$57.5m (US$41.2m, €36.5m, £31.5m) in total gross output to the South Australian economy in 2010 and supported between 240 and 1085 jobs during the same period."

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Adelaide’s Monarto Zoo is to get a new AU$16.8m (US$12.1m, €10.7m, £9.2m) visitor centre, providing visitors with a "world-class" entrance to the visitor attraction.

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