Indigenous owners of the Crocodile Hotel and Cooinda Lodge in Kakadu National Park in Australia’s top end, the Gagadju people have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with French hotel chain, Accor for management of the properties from April this year.
Accor will replace current managers, InterContinental Hotel Group (IHG).
The hotels were the first of their kind to be developed by an Australian Indigenous organisation. Owned by the Gagudju people since 1988, the crocodile-shaped 110 room luxury accommodation Crocodile Hotel is situated at Jabiru, in the Northern Territory. The Gagudju people also developed Cooinda Lodge. The 48 room lodge and camping site at Yellow Water Billabong is part of the Warradjan Cultural Centre, Gagudju Adventure Tours, Yellow Water Cruises, Yellow Water Fishing, general store and fuel station.
Rex Wild, chairman of Kakadu Tourism thanked IHG for their management of the hotels, and welcomed the property’s new operators.
“We look forward to welcoming Accor to our Kakadu properties,” said Mr Wild.
“What particularly attracted us to Accor is its championing of Indigenous employment, which is a fundamental objective of the operation of the two properties.
“We already have extensive involvement of Indigenous Australians in our tourism operations, but we believe we can increase the development of long term sustainable careers as a result of our association with Accor.
“The strength of the Australian dollar and the popularity of Asia as a holiday destination have affected tourism to Kakadu in recent years, but we believe that Kakadu is one of the world’s most significant tourism destinations and there is vast potential to grow visitation from both overseas and locally,” said Mr Wild.