Ayers Rock Resort will undergo a $50 million refurbishment and expansion project to cement the region as a repeat destination. By Victoria Dalzell Over the next five years Ayers Rock Resort will undergo a up $50 million refurbishment to boost tourism and transform Uluru into a repeat holiday destination for both domestic and international travellers. The first stage of the project began in May 2011 when the resort was bought by the Indigenous Land Corporation (ILC) who appointed Accor to run and manage it.

The resort currently encompasses several accommodation facilities ranging from luxury resorts and lodges to campground amenities, but the Accor takeover will mean a restructure and rebranding of the services. For instance luxury hotel, Sails in the Desert, will be rebranded under the Pullman label.

Prompting the refurbishment is a need to boost the domestic, corporate and international markets (especially China), to visit the World Heritage site.

The plans for expansion include a nine hole resort golf course, which is a key element in securing Chinese and corporate tourism. The first stage of the project focuses on Sails in the Desert Hotel, which will unveil 60 refurbished rooms in January 2012.

In further efforts to boost tourism in the region, ILC have partnered with Southern China Airlines in chartering a one off, direct flight from Guang-Zhou, China to Uluru. The single flight will arrive on Chinese New Year 2012 and bring in half the number of Chinese tourists that visited throughout the previous financial year.

Other facilities set to feature in the renovated resort include a spa and wellness centre which will engage tourists with Indigenous ‘spiritual healing’. All tourists arriving via plane will be greeted by a traditional Welcome to Country ceremony via a large screen. Tali Wiru Restaurant will open in January offering guests the chance to dine under The Outback sky.

The project also includes plans to expand dining experiences such as under The Outback sky Tali Wiru Restaurant experience.

When ILC took over in May only two Indigenous people were employed at Ayers Rock Resort however in the four months since, an additional 53 Indigenous people have been employed. The federal government has injected $4.9 million into assisting ILC and Accor in training programs for the Indigenous community, which will see a further 240 indigenous people employed by 2014 and 100 each year following.

The refurbishment and expansion of Ayers Rock Resorts aims to integrate the community and provide a lasting experience for travellers. The project aims to ensure Uluru remains a must-see Australian tourist attraction with an authentic cultural experience.

Ayers Rock Resort
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