Northern Territory’s famed Gagudju Crocodile Hotel and Gagudju Cooinda Lodge will be managed by Accor as of April 1, 2014.
Aerial view of the Crocodile Hotel
Following on from the announcement that the Crocodile Hotel and Cooinda Lodge in Kakadu National Park would part ways with long-time managers IHG, SPICE can now confirm that Kakadu Tourism have signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Accor to manage their hotels from 1 April, 2014.
Gagudju Crocodile Hotel will be aligned with Accor’s Mercure brand, and Gagudju Cooinda Lodge will be part of Ibis Styles.
Chairman of owners Kakadu Tourism Pty Ltd, Rex Wild, thanked IHG for their management of the hotels, which began in 1989, when a forerunner of IHG in Australia – Southern Pacific Hotels – was appointed by the Gagudju Board to manage the two properties.
Wild said, “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.
“This year celebrates the 30th anniversary of Paul Hogan’s ‘Throw another Shrimp on the Barbie’ advertisement and because of this, and the subsequent Crocodile Dundee films, Kakadu received enormous international exposure.
“We believe we can build upon this legacy, and with Accor’s sales and marketing support, we will examine ways of refreshing the product offer and introducing new attractions, experiences and events to grow visitor numbers beyond the current annual figure of 220,000.”
Current managers of the two properties – Daniel Lukritz (Crocodile Hotel) and Vanessa Thomson (Cooinda Lodge) – will stay with the hotels following the change.