Ayers Rock Resort has appointed the world’s largest hotel operator, Accor, to help take the iconic resort and tourist attraction to new markets as well as maximising opportunities for Indigenous employment and development. Under the agreement, Accor will provide a full 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 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 to boost the Resort’s international and domestic popularity will include:
• $4.9 million investment in the national indigenous training academy at Ayers Rock by the Federal Govt which will create 200 indigenous positions at Ayers Rock Resort and 100 traineeships annually with graduates to be placed within Accor’s national network of 160 hotels
• Major promotion of the Resort in emerging Asian markets
• First-ever charter flight from China (in January 2012)
• Opening of new Conference & Exhibition Centre in August 2012
• Extensive refurbishment of hotels, starting with Sails in the Desert Hotel
• The launch of a new ‘under the stars’ 5-star dining experience (called Tali Wiru)
• Introduction of new activities and experiences
• Establishment of a pioneering Indigenous Training Academy to develop the careers of over 300 indigenous Australians in the tourism and hospitality sectors
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 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 over 160 hotels, and will add to Accor’s Northern Territory presence, which currently comprises hotels in Darwin, Katherine and Alice Springs
Announcing the agreement with Accor, Managing Director of Voyages Indigenous Tourism Australia, Koos Klein, said that Accor would play a key role in re-building and growing Ayers Rock Resort’s market both internationally and within Australia.
“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,” said Mr Klein.
“We are developing a new vision for the Resort, with new directions, new activities, a program 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.”