Ayers Rock Resort, the integrated resort overlooking the central Australian landmark Uluru, has appointed Accor to take care of several elements of its hotels’ management.
Under the agreement, Accor will provide a range of services to complement the day-to-day operation of the resort, which is managed by Voyages Indigenous Tourism Australia. Accor will particularly concentrate on sales and marketing and human resources, opening up new markets for the resort, boosting domestic leisure and conference demand, and working with the resort to boost career opportunities for Indigenous Australians.
New initiatives include a AU$4.9 million (US$5.0 million) investment in the national indigenous training academy at Uluru by the federal government which will create 200 indigenous positions at Ayers Rock Resort and 100 traineeships each year. Other measures will include a major promotion of the resort in emerging Asian markets, the opening of new conference and exhibition Centre in August 2012, an extensive refurbishment of ‘Sails in the Desert’ hotel, and the launch of a new ‘under the stars’ dining experience called Tali Wiru.
Ayers Rock Resort is the largest integrated resort complex in Australia, consisting of five hotels – Sails in the Desert, Desert Gardens Hotel, Outback Pioneer & Lodge, Emu Walk Apartments, and the Lost Camel Hotel. The hotels will retain their names, but will be aligned to corresponding brands in Accor’s portfolio. The addition of Ayers Rock Resort will boost Accor’s Australian network to more than 160 hotels. The hotels will also be included in Accor’s AClub loyalty programme.
Announcing the agreement with Accor, Managing Director of Voyages Indigenous Tourism Australia, Koos Klein, said; “Since the Indigenous Land Corporation purchased Ayers Rock Resort earlier this year we have been looking at a comprehensive range of measures to rejuvenate what is one of Australia’s most important tourism assets.
“We are developing a new vision for the resort, with new directions, new activities, a programme of major refurbishments and upgrades and a far reaching program to involve far greater numbers of Indigenous Australians at the resort.
“We want to complement the unique nature of the destination with unique services. Our mission goes well beyond attracting tourists to Uluru. We are committed to investing in the development of Indigenous employment and tourism businesses, which is why a fundamental aspect of the agreement with Accor is to enable trainees of our National Indigenous Training Academy to further their careers by working in Accor’s extensive hotel network. This should significantly boost the presence of Indigenous Australians in the hotel and tourism sectors,” Klein added.
Accor Australia’s Vice President, Simon McGrath,commented; “Ayers Rock Resort is one of Australia’s greatest tourism assets and a fundamental driver for our inbound industry, so it is essential that we reposition the product and attract new markets.
“We have an extensive presence in Ayers Rock Resort’s traditional and emerging markets and this provides a very focused and cost-effective means of generating new business for the resort.
“Most significantly, however, we have demonstrated our commitment to advancing Indigenous causes through our pioneering Indigenous Employment Program and our Reconciliation Action Plan. We believe that Indigenous Australians should have far greater involvement in the Australian tourism and hospitality industries, and Ayers Rock resort provides the perfect opportunity to demonstrate this commitment.